Extreme heat isn’t just uncomfortable, it’s also very dangerous. Did you know that extreme heat is responsible for the highest number of deaths among all weather-related hazards? Here are simple steps you can take to stay safe when extreme heat takes hold in the greater Kansas City region this summer.
Be prepared before extreme heat arrives
- Learn to recognize the signs of heat illness.
- Weatherize your home
- Install window air conditioners and insulate around them.
- Do not rely on a fan as your primary cooling device. Fans do not reduce body temperature or prevent heat-related illnesses.
- Weather-strip doors and windows and add insulation to keep the heat out.
- If you are unable to afford your cooling costs, weatherization or energy-related home repairs, contact the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) for help.
- Identify community cooling centers, or public places in your community where you can go to get cool such as libraries and shopping malls
- Close blinds and cover windows with drapes or shades.
Be safe during extreme heat
- Help keep vulnerable populations safe.
- Never leave people or pets in a closed car on a warm day.
- Check on family members, seniors and neighbors regularly.
- Keep your pets cool. If they are outside, make sure they have plenty of cool water and access to comfortable shade.
- Keep yourself safe when outside
- If you’re outside, find shade. Wear a hat wide enough to protect your face.
- Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated.
- Avoid high-energy activities or work outdoors, during midday heat and sun, if possible.
- Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
- Cool down when needed
- If air conditioning is not available in your home go to a cooling center. Buses and the streetcar are free to ride and air-conditioned.
- Take cool showers or baths, or visit community pools and spray grounds.
- Watch for heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.