Take Time to Cool Off while Temperatures are High
The combination of heat and humidity can create oppressive conditions which may cause heat related illnesses to develop. Stay hydrated, cool off whenever possible and know the warning signs of severe heat-related illness.
- The risk of heat-related illness increases when temperatures remain high for multiple days.
- Check on friends, neighbors and relatives that may need assistance. Older persons, infants, children and persons with underlying health conditions or who take certain medications may be more sensitive to the hot conditions.
- Outdoor work or physical activity may increase the risk of illness.
- Seek immediate medical attention by calling 911 if heat-related illness is suspected.
If you need a place to cool off from the heat during business hours, many public libraries and public buildings, including the County Human Services Building at 555 Towner St. Ypsilanti offer it.
Potential Warning Signs of Severe Heat-Related Illness
Local Response Plan
An emergency response is typically only activated if a heat advisory remains in effect for multiple days or if an excessive heat warning is issued by the National Weather Service. A widespread loss of power or other complications may also activate the local Heatwave Response Plan.
Prevent Heat-Related Illness
Heat illness can occur when the body is unable to cool down. The body normally cools down by sweating. During extremely hot weather, sweating may not be enough to cool the body.
- Use an air conditioner or go to a cooler place - even briefly. Spending a few hours a day in air conditioning can reduce your risk for heat-related illness.
- Drink extra water to stay hydrated. Avoid beverages that contain caffeine or alcohol.
- Take a cool shower or bath.
- Avoid outdoor exercise and physical activity during the hottest part of the day. Or, reduce or eliminate any outdoor activities during a heat wave.
- Stay out of the sun. If you must be in the sun, wear thin and light-colored clothing, a hat and sunglasses. Wear sunscreen and reapply every two hours.
- Check on family, neighbors and friends. Help them get to a cool place if necessary.
- Never leave children, older adults or pets in parked vehicles. Vehicles heat up very quickly and can become dangerous, even with the windows open.
The most serious heat-related illness is heat stroke. It occurs when the body cannot regulate its temperature. A person’s body temperature may rise to 106°F or higher in 10 to 15 minutes. The person will be unable to sweat or cool down. Warning signs may include:
body temperature of 103°F or higher
red, hot and dry skin (no sweating)
rapid, strong pulse
nausea, confusion or unconsciousness
Call 911 for immediate medical assistance if heat stroke is suspected. Cool the victim, if possible. If the victim’s muscles are twitching uncontrollably, do not give him or her liquids.
Other, less-serious heat-related illnesses include:
- Heat exhaustion is a milder form of heat-related illness that can progress into heat stroke. Heat exhaustion may require medical attention.
- Heat cramps are muscle pains or spasms that may occur with strenuous activities.
- Heat rash is a skin irritation caused by excessive sweating during hot, humid weather.