The most deadly weather events in the U.S. are extreme heat, according to FEMA. However, because of its lack of the same devastation-causing ferocity as wildfires or tornadoes, hot weather is often easy to underestimate. As climate change continues to fuel heat waves, they are now more prevalent, from two per year on average in the 1960s to six per year today. Even worse, compared to the 60s, these events are more prolonged and intense.
Emergency preparedness for extreme hot weather can mean life or death, as current statistics show that millions of Americans live in areas that are vulnerable. Extreme heat warnings for millions of people were issued, this summer as record-breaking heat waves enter the third year in a row, and thousands lose power.
As global temperatures continue to rise, hot weather is inevitable, and long-term power outages are imminent. Therefore, monitoring and preparing for this ever-increasing trend is prudent. Read on to learn the best emergency preparedness practices for hot weather, how to; stay informed, cool, and hydrated, dress appropriately, and put contingency plans in place for power outages or other emergencies.
Getting Ready with Emergency Preparedness For Extreme Hot Weather
When getting ready with emergency preparedness for extreme hot weather we want to do three things.
- Make a Plan
- Build a Kit
- Be informed
Extreme heat in our weather often results in the highest annual number of deaths among all weather-related disasters. That is a pretty sobering statement from FEMA and something to not take lightly. We also need to consider emergency preparedness for extreme hot weather emergencies.
It is essential to have a plan to respond when you live in places that are susceptible to extremely hot weather. Building a kit means having a checklist and a preplanned kit, package, box, or bag available to you in an extreme heat emergency or disaster with special items that are necessary for your protection and communication.
Being informed about upcoming weather events and possible problem scenarios is always essential for your safety. Television, internet, radio, and cell phone communication are the best way to stay informed of the latest information.
Using Emergency Preparedness Technology For Extreme Hot Weather
Stay connected and informed with emergency preparedness technology like cell phones, weather radios, TV, and the Internet.
We use technology all of the time to monitor our weather from a simple digital thermometer to complex AI algorithms that monitor the worlds weather for entities like the National Weather Service in the U.S.
We also use technology for emergency response with our communications, two way radios, all the way to our weather radios.
Technology is essential for the early warning system to notify everyone including the news outlets of impending extremes in areas of the planet and in the U.S. that can get extremely hot and cause actual death to people who are unprepared or cannot respond.
We also constantly have new technology and its effect and strain on the national power grid and the possibility of overwhelming the grid at peak times for air conditioning and electric vehicle charging at peak load hours. Our technology monitoring is necessary to prevent rolling blackouts for power grid over use.
The Global News on Droughts and Hot Weather
Whether you are from the U.S. East or West Coast or somewhere in the middle, we have all experienced hot weather. It seems like lately it is getting more and more prevalent.
You must have come across the heatwave chaos hitting America year after year if you’re current with the news or live in a hot place. Texas’s San Angelo airport experienced two weeks straight with heat index temperatures as high as 45.6C (114F), three degrees higher than usual.
In 2022 more than 8 million Americans experienced temperatures above 125 degrees, but by 2053 over 100 million Americans could expect that kind of heat annually.
After breaking records in Texas, the heatwave moved into states like Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, and Louisiana, as well as the entire west coast. With temperatures predicted to rise 5-10 degrees Celsius above the climatological average and over 50 million people placed under intense heat advisories, you might be worried if you live in the U.S.
Growing Up in Hot weather Areas Prepares You Too
Growing up in Las Vegas, Nevada, I have plenty of experience with extremely hot weather. I can remember the sound of the Cicadas in the summer when I was a little kid and the stifling heat. Standing under mulberry trees for shade and not understanding that it was so hot. Watching the asphalt streets “breathe” as we call it from 120 degree July and August summers.
I also remember the feeling of being lightheaded and the feeling like you were going to pass out from being in the sun or the heat all day. Often, the air conditioning was swamp coolers as opposed to actual air conditioners and although blowing cold air if you are under one, they do not work the same as air conditioners.
My family was always about emergency preparedness and we were always well stocked with emergency supplies and would discuss as a family. During “Hell Weeks” in High School football practice in August, they would give us salt tablets to help keep us hydrated with potassium. In some ways, the technology is not a lot better than a salt tablet still to this day.
Emergency Preparedness For Extreme Hot Weather Emergency Checklist
If you are under a national weather service extreme heat warning be prepared for the coming hot weather with emergency preparedness.
Extreme heat often results in the highest annual number of deaths in people among all weather-related disasters that hit our country.
The following is a printable list of what to do in an extreme heat and hot weather emergency. The printable PDF will be in a link at the bottom of the list.
Tech Evaluate Extreme Heat and Hot Weather Emergency Free Checklist:
|Heat Index/Outdoor Temperature (F)||Possible Heat Affect on Person|
|130°F or Higher||Sunstroke likely with continued exposure.|
|105°F-130°F||Sunstroke, heat cramps, heat exhaustion likely, and heatstroke possible with prolonged exposure and/or physical activity.|
|90°F-105°F||Sunstroke, heat cramps, or heat exhaustion possible with prolonged exposure and/or physical activity.|
|80°F-90°F||Fatigue possible with prolonged exposure and/or physical activity.|
- Stay cool if possible. A wet towel around your neck or a cool shower or bath can cool you down the fastest.
- Avoid going outside during the hottest time of the day.
- If you have to be outside, stay in the shade as much as possible.
- Wear a large-brimmed hat if you are outside to block the sun.
- Always have a lot of water on hand and drink plenty of fluids.
- Have and take salt tablets or pills, or drinks like Gatorade with electrolytes.
- Avoid strenuous activities.
- Watch for heat illness, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke.
- Make sure your air conditioner is in proper working order before the hottest part of the summer.
- Have a dual fuel or solar generator on hand in case of long-term power outages. It may save your life.
- If your air conditioner is out, find air conditioning in a public place like a library or shopping mall if possible.
- If you have a basement, utilize that in the hottest weather as they stay cooler.
- Firs story on two story hoses is cooler as heat rises.
- Never leave people or pets in a closed car.
- Wear light clothing.
- Check on family members and neighbors.
- Stay informed of weather changes by smartphone, internet, or tv.
Here is our emergency list from our article “What Happens if the American Power Grid Goes Down?” Always be ready for power outages from heat related stress on the power grid.
Basic (3 Day) Emergency Supplies Pack List:
- Water is number one. You will need a minimum of one gallon per person per day for at least three days for drinking and sanitation.
- Non-perishable food supply for a minimum of a three-days per person: ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, vegetables, and a can opener.
- Matches in a waterproof container, fire starter, and monitored emergency candles in safe holders away from anything that could catch fire.
- First aid kit, prescription medications, and non-prescription medications such as pain relievers.
- Hand-crank or battery-powered radio, flashlight, and extra batteries.
- M95 masks (minimum) per person to help filter contaminated air.
- Plastic sheeting and duct tape (to shelter in place).
- Toilet paper, moist towelettes, garbage bags, and plastic ties (for personal sanitation).
- Keep your vehicle’s gas tank full.
- Local maps.
- Whistle (to signal for help).
We Recommend Two Weeks of Food and Water
The Red Cross has a “Be Red Cross Ready Power Outage Checklist” that recommends preparing for a 2-week supply of food, water, and essential supplies for your home for long-term power outages.
- Water—one gallon per person, per day (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home)
- Food—non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home)
Some additional items to consider adding to your emergency supplies pack:
- Soap and hand sanitizer.
- Complete change of climate-appropriate clothing.
- Sleeping bag, emergency, or warm blanket for each person.
- Printed prescriptions, prescription eyeglasses, and contact lenses and solutions.
- Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items.
- Baby diapers, wipes, formula, and bottles.
- Pet food and extra water for your pet.
- Cash or traveler’s checks.
- Important documents printed like identification, passwords, bank account numbers and records, and insurance policies in a waterproof, portable container.
- Fire extinguisher
- Paper plates, paper cups, paper towels, and plastic utensils.
- Paper and pencil.
- Printed books, games, puzzles, or other activities for your family.
Emergency preparedness is key to staying safe in extremely hot weather. Preparing requires taking steps to cope with and prevent heat-related illnesses. Read on to learn how!
How to Survive Long Periods of Extremely Hot Weather?
- Stay Informed
It’s important to monitor weather reports and stay informed about any heat advisories or warnings in your area. This information can help you plan and take precautions to stay safe during extreme heat. You may want to follow heatmap. news.
- Prepare Your Home
If you know that hot weather is on its way, there are some things you can do to prepare your home if you plan on staying at home. These include the following tips;
- You can keep out hot air by making sure your windows and doors are properly sealed.
- You can also use insulated curtains or blinds to keep the sun out.
- By using fans or air conditioning, you’ll guarantee better air circulation.
- You can employ a reflective window film to reflect heat from your home.
- Use a dehumidifier to reduce humidity levels in your home. This can make you feel cooler.
If you have a basement or lower level, consider spending time there during the hottest part of the day, as these areas tend to be cooler.
- Stay Cool
One of the most important things you can do during extreme heat is to stay cool. If you have air conditioning, make sure it’s working properly and set at a comfortable temperature. However, if you don’t have air conditioning at home, consider going to public places such as shopping malls, libraries, or community centers that have air conditioning.
You can also try taking a cool shower or bath or placing a damp towel on your neck or wrists to help cool your body. Furthermore, avoid strenuous activities during the hottest parts of the day and take frequent breaks if you must be outside.
- Stay Hydrated
During extreme heat, it’s crucial to stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water and avoid alcohol and caffeinated beverages, which can dehydrate you.
Besides water, you can also drink drinks like Gatorade with electrolytes to help you stay hydrated.
If you’re going to be outside, bring water with you and drink it regularly. You can also eat foods with high water content, such as fruits and vegetables.
- Dress Appropriately
What you wear during hot weather can make a big difference in how comfortable you feel. You can stay cool by dressing in airy, light-weight, and loose-fitting clothing.
Covering your skin with long sleeve shirts, hoodies, and pants made of light unbleached cotton that not only breathes but contain lignins that act as UV absorbers and help protect your skin from the sun.
Dark colors absorb more heat, so it’s best to avoid them. It is also a good idea to wear a wide-brimmed hat to protect your face and neck from the sun and to use sunscreen or an umbrella to prevent sunburn.
- Limit Outdoor Activities
It’s important to limit your outdoor activities in hot weather, especially in the hottest hours of the day. If you must be outside, try to go out when it is cooler, such as early in the morning or late at night.
Again, if you must be outside during the day, take regular breaks to cool off in the shade or indoors. Also, don’t forget to drink plenty of water.
- Prepare For Power Outages
During hot weather, power outages are more common as people use more electricity to keep cool. To be prepared for a power outage, make sure you have a battery-powered fan or other source of ventilation, and stock up on plenty of water and non-perishable food.
You may also want to consider investing in a dual fuel or solar generator, especially if you live in an area that’s prone to power outages.
- Check on Vulnerable People
Hot weather can be especially dangerous for certain people. During extremely hot weather, always endeavor to check on family members, friends, and neighbors who may be more vulnerable to heat-related illnesses, such as the elderly, young children, and those with chronic health conditions. Make sure they are staying cool and hydrated, and offer to help them if necessary.
- Create an Emergency Plan
In case of an emergency, it’s important to have an emergency plan in place. This plan should include information on how to evacuate your home if necessary and where to go if you need to seek shelter. You should also have a list of emergency contacts and important documents, such as insurance policies and medical records, readily available.
- Utilize Technology to Stay Informed and to Stay Safe
Stay informed of weather changes by smartphone, internet, or tv. Have a dual fuel or solar generator on hand in case of long-term power outages. It may save your life. Solar, Hand-crank, or battery-powered weather radio, flashlight, and extra batteries. Use smartphones, satellite phones, two-way radios, ham radios, and CB Radios for communication in emergencies.
- Have an emergency plan for your family, how to contact each other, and where to meet in case of emergencies.
- Plan to cope without electricity.
- Keep your first aid kit handy, especially if you have a vulnerable group at home.
- Have some cash with you always.
- Be prepared for the heat.
The UN panel states in a recent report. “Climate Change Is Speeding Toward Catastrophe. The Next Decade Is Crucial.” According to scientists, the current heatwave in the U.S. over Texas, Louisiana, and Mexico is five times more likely because of the climate crisis.
As global temperatures continue to rise, hot weather is inevitable. As a result, preparing for hot weather is imperative. Heatwaves can be dangerous and even deadly, so taking the necessary precautions to stay safe is crucial.
Whether you’re dealing with a sudden heatwave or just want to prepare for the summer months, the tips discussed in this article will help you readily prepare for hot weather.
- Climate Change Indicators: Heat Waves | US EPA
- Extreme Heat Fema.gov
- Heatwaves: How to stay cool-Who
- Extreme Heat Preparedness-American Red Cross
- Long-Term Power Blackout Coming Soon-Tech Evaluate
- What Happens if the American Power Grid Goes Down?-Tech Evaluate
- Will I Lose Water if I Lose Power?-Tech Evaluate
- How Much Emergency Power Do You Need For An Apartment?-Tech Evaluate
- The Potential of a Smartphone as an Urban Weather Station—An Exploratory Analysis
- Emerging “Extreme Heat Belt” will Impact Over 107 Million Americans by 2053