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Heat Advisory in Effect

Northwestern offers tips for staying safe in dangerous heat

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July 17, 2012

The National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory for the Chicagoland area that remains in effect until 10:00 p.m. tonight (July 17).

High temperatures around 100 degrees are expected across Cook County and Chicago this afternoon. Peak heat indices are expected to range between 100 and 110 degrees this afternoon and early this evening.


Hot Weather Tips

• Stay informed about local weather updates.

• Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids, even if you don’t feel thirsty.

• Eat small meals and eat more often.

• Avoid extreme temperature changes.

• Wear loose-fitting, light colored clothing. Avoid dark colors because they absorb the sun’s rays.

• Slow down, stay indoors and avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day.

• Take frequent breaks if you must work outside.

• Notify employees about the potential health risks of pollution and air quality alerts.


Recognizing Symptoms and Caring for People in Heat Emergencies

Heat cramps are muscular pains and spasms that usually occur in the legs or abdomen caused by exposure to high heat and humidity and loss of fluids and electrolytes. Heat cramps are often a warning sign that the body is having trouble with the heat.

Heat exhaustion typically involves the loss of body fluids through heavy sweating

during strenuous exercise or physical labor in high heat and humidity.

Signs of heat exhaustion include cool, moist, pale or flushed skin; heavy sweating; headache; nausea; dizziness; weakness, and exhaustion.

Move the person to a cooler place. Remove or loosen tight clothing and apply cool, wet cloth or towels to the skin. Fan the person. If the person is conscious, give small amounts of cool water to drink. Make sure the person drinks slowly. Watch for changes in condition.

Heat stroke (also known as sunstroke) is a life-threatening condition in which a person’s temperature control system stops working and the body is unable to cool itself. If the person refuses water, vomits or begins to lose consciousness, call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number.

Signs of heat stroke include hot, red skin which may be dry or moist; changes in consciousness; vomiting, and high body temperature.

Remember: Heat stroke is life-threatening. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately.

Move the person to a cooler place. Quickly cool the person’s body by giving care as you would for heat exhaustion. If needed, continue rapid cooling by applying ice or cold packs wrapped in a cloth to the wrists, ankles, groin, neck and armpits.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Emergency Services Division, Office of Emergency Management at 847-467-3148 or by email at c-stokes@northwestern.edu.