Extremely hot and humid weather is forecasted, which may increase the risk of heat-related stress and illness when heat pushes the human body beyond its limits.
In extreme heat and high humidity, perspiration evaporation slows, causing the body to work extra hard to maintain a normal temperature. Most victims of heat-related illnesses have been overexposed to indoor or outdoor heat or have over-exerted themselves for their age and physical condition. Individuals who are very young, elderly, ill, overweight, or participating in strenuous outdoor activities are most at risk for succumbing to extreme heat.
Before a Heat Emergency
• Install window air conditioners snugly; insulate if necessary.
• Have an annual inspection of your air conditioner by a licensed and bonded HVAC contractor.
• Check air-conditioning ducts to ensure none are covered or blocked.
• Use window reflectors specifically designed to reflect heat back outside.
• Weather-strip doors and windowsills to keep cool air in.
• Cover windows that receive morning or afternoon sun exposure with drapes, shades, awnings, or louvers.
• Keep storm windows up all year.
During a Heat Emergency
• If your home has sufficient air conditioning, stay indoors as much as possible and limit sun exposure.
• If your home does not have sufficient or any air conditioning, taking precautions may help you avoid heat-related stress and illness.
• Arrange to spend time with friends and family who have air conditioning.
• Stay on the lowest floor of your home, out of the sunshine.
• Circulate air with a fan to help cool the body by increasing perspiration evaporation.
• Consider spending the hottest hours (2 pm to 5 pm) in public buildings, such as libraries, schools, movie theaters, shopping malls, and other indoor facilities.
• If you must spend time outdoors, taking precautions may help you avoid heat-related stress and illness.
- Dress in loose-fitting, lightweight, and light-colored clothes that cover as much skin as possible.
- Protect your face and head with a wide-brimmed hat.
- Avoid strenuous outdoor activity during the hottest hours (2:00 pm to 5:00 pm).
- Use a buddy system when working in extreme heat and take frequent breaks.
• Other precautions to take may help keep you and your loved ones safe and healthy during extreme heat.
- Eat light, regular, well-balanced meals.
- Avoid using salt tablets unless directed to do so by a physician.
- Drink plenty of water; however, individuals on fluid-restricted diets due to medical conditions should consult their health care provider before increasing liquid intake.
- Limit intake of alcoholic beverages.
- Never leave children or pets alone in closed vehicles. Car interiors can reach lethal temperatures in minutes. Beat the heat and check the back seat!
- Check on family, friends, and neighbors who may not have air conditioning or who spend much of their time alone.
To Request a Well-Being Check
Call 911 for someone who may be suffering from the effects of extreme heat.
To Locate a Cooling Center
• Monday through Friday 8:00am to 5:00pm, call 815-748-8460.
• After hours, during weekends, and on holidays, call 815-748-8400.
The facilities listed below act as public cooling centers during their operating hours. Each facility is in DeKalb and provides handicap accessibility, air conditioning, seating, access to restrooms and drinking water, and facility staff on site to supervise visitors. To learn how to add your facility to this list, please contact DeKalb Fire Department at 815-748-8460.