Extreme Heat

Hexagons

The Lower Rio Grande Valley (LRGV) experiences very hot summers, and sometimes reaches dangerously high temperatures. During a Heat Advisory and/or Excessive Heat Warning, knowing how to recognize heat-related illnesses and how to prevent them, can help save you or someone else.

Excessive Heat Watches—Be Prepared!

Heat watches are issued when conditions are favorable for an excessive heat event in the next 24 to 72 hours. A Watch is used when the risk of a heat wave has increased but its occurrence and timing is still uncertain.

Heat Advisory—Take Action!

A Heat Advisory is issued within 12 hours of the onset of extremely dangerous heat conditions. The general rule of thumb for this Advisory is when the maximum heat index temperature is expected to be 100° or higher for at least 2 days, and night time air temperatures will not drop below 75°; however, these criteria vary across the country, especially for areas that are not used to dangerous heat conditions. Take precautions to avoid heat illness. If you don't take precautions, you may become seriously ill or even die.

Excessive Heat Warning—Take Action!

An Excessive Heat Warning is issued within 12 hours of the onset of extremely dangerous heat conditions. The general rule of thumb for this Warning is when the maximum heat index temperature is expected to be 105° or higher for at least 2 days and night time air temperatures will not drop below 75°; however, these criteria vary across the country, especially for areas not used to extreme heat conditions. If you don't take precautions immediately when conditions are extreme, you may become seriously ill or even die.

The following groups are particularly vulnerable to heat:

  • Young children and infants are particularly vulnerable to heat-related illness and death, as their bodies are less able to adapt to heat than are adults.
  • Older adults, particularly those with pre existing diseases, take certain medications, are living alone or with limited mobility who are exposed to extreme heat can experience multiple adverse effects.
  • People with chronic medical conditions are more likely to have a serious health problem during a heat wave than healthy people.
  • Pregnant women are also at higher risk. Extreme heat events have been associated with adverse birth outcomes such as low birth weight, preterm birth, and infant mortality, as well as congenital cataracts.

Below are some preventative actions everyone should take to help mitigate extreme heat and humidity:

  • Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Stay in an air-conditioned room.
  • Stay out of the sun and check up on relatives and neighbors.
  • NEVER leave children and pets unattended in vehicles under any circumstances.

If you work or spend time outside:

  • Reschedule strenuous activities to early morning or evening (if possible.)
  • Know the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke (see graphic below for details.)
  • Wear lightweight and loose-fitting clothing when possible.
  • Schedule frequent rest breaks in shaded or air-conditioned environments, as recommended by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
  • Move anyone overcome by heat to a cool and shaded location and call 9-1-1 if you believe they are suffering from Heat Stroke.

Heat Related Illnesses:

Heat
Exhaustion

Faint or dizzy

Excessive sweating

Cool, pale, clammy skin

Nausea or vomiting

Rapid, weak pulse

Muscle cramps

Heat Exhaustion
Heat
Stroke
Heat Stroke

Throbbing headache

No sweating

Body temperature above 103°
Red, hot, dry skin

Nausea or vomiting

Rapid, strong pulse

May lose conciousness

  • Get to a cooler, air conditioned place.
  • Drink water if fully conscious.
  • Take a cool shower or use cold compresses.

Call 9-1-1

Take immediate action to cool the person until help arrives.


Agotamiento
debido al calor

Mareos

Sudor excesivo

Piel pegajosa, fresca y pálida

Náuseas y vómitos

Latidos del corazón rápidos y débiles

Calambres

Heat exhaustion

Insolación
Heat stroke

Dolor de cabeza

Piel no sudorosa

Temperatura corporal por encima de 103°
Piel caliente, roja, y seca

Nauseas y vómitos

Latidos del corazón rápidos y fuertes

Pérdida del conocimiento

  • Descanse en un lugar fresco y sombreado.
  • Tome mucha agua y otros líquidos.
  • Báñese con agua fría o utilice compresas frías.

llame al 9-1-1

Tome acción inmediatamente para enfriar su temperatura corporal hasta que llegue la ayuda necesaria.

Resources:

www.heat.gov

www.weather.gov/safety/heat