“Heat can be very dangerous, so it’s important to take precautions when temperatures rise,” said Wisconsin Emergency Management Administrator Greg Engle. “Whether working, playing, or enjoying time outdoors, we need to take extra care on these hot days.” “
“The biggest issues arise from heat when it lasts for multiple days,” said NWS Milwaukee Warning Coordination Meteorologist Tim Halbach. “Take some time now to help neighbors who may need assistance. Pay attention to the latest forecasts to stay aware of future heat waves which could last for more than a day.”
Follow these tips to beat the heat & stay safe during heat waves:
- Stay informed – Pay attention to local weather forecasts and extreme heat alerts.
- Find cool spaces – Remain inside air-conditioned buildings as much as possible during the hottest parts of the day. Call 2-1-1 to find an accessible cool place near you such as libraries or community centers.
- Stay cool at home – If you don’t have air conditioning or a basement, take a cool shower, soak your feet in cold water, or place a cool, wet cloth on your forehead. Keep your windows covered to avoid direct sunlight.
- Stay hydrated – Drink plenty of fluids and avoid alcohol, caffeinated and high-sugar drinks. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink. Don’t take salt tablets unless directed by a medical professional.
- Avoid hot cars – Never leave a child or pet unattended inside a parked car. On an 80-degree Fahrenheit day, temperatures in a vehicle parked in direct sunlight can climb almost 20 degrees in just 10 minutes.
- Keep pets safe – Limit their time outdoors and make sure they have access to fresh drinking water.
- Stay aware – Watch for early signs of heat-related illnesses such as dizziness, headache, fatigue, and muscle cramps. Seek medical attention right away if symptoms worsen or you develop symptoms of heat stroke.
Check in with loved ones and neighbors during heat waves, especially if they last a few days.
When hot weather and high humidity hit at the same time, people of all ages are at risk of getting heat-related illnesses such as heat exhaustion, stress, or stroke. In 2022, 14 heat-related deaths occurred in Wisconsin, according to preliminary data from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS). More than 700 Wisconsinites also visited emergency rooms for heat-related illnesses last year.
Extreme heat affects more Wisconsinites than any other natural disaster, and every single heat-related death is preventable,” said Paula Tran, DHS state health officer. “That’s why we and local partners are redoubling our efforts to find new ways to support people who are most at risk of getting ill during heat waves – those who are very young or old, living with existing health conditions, living with disabilities, or living, working, or active outdoors.”