Heat Wave

Summer heat waves have been the biggest weather-related killers in Wisconsin for the past 50 years, far exceeding tornadoes, severe storms and floods combined. Heat is the number one weather-related killer in the United States. People at higher risk of a heat-related illness include:

  • Older adults
  • Infants and young children
  • People with chronic heart or lung problems
  • Those who work outdoors or in hot settings
  • Users of some medications, especially those taken for mental disorders, movement disorder, allergies, depression, and heart or circulatory problems
  • People who are socially isolated and don’t know when or how to cool off—or when to call for help

Heat Awareness Day, this is a great time to remember the following tips to keep safe in hot weather.

  • Never leave children, disabled persons, or pets in a parked car. Vehicle temperatures can become life threatening. On an 80-degree day, the temperature inside a car, even with the windows cracked slightly, can reach 100 degrees in less than 10 minutes.
  • Keep your living space cool. All the victims of heat related deaths in the past two years did not have air conditioning and did not seek shelter from the heat at a local cooling center.
  • Slow down and limit physical activity. Plan your outings for early morning or after dark, when temperatures are cooler.
  • Drink plenty of water and eat lightly. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty.
  • Wear lightweight, loose-fitting, light-colored clothing. Adding a hat or umbrella will keep your head cool.
  • Don’t stop taking medication unless your doctor says you should.
  • Take a cool shower or bath. It will actually work faster to cool you down than air conditioning. Putting a cold wet rag on your neck, head and limbs also cools down the body quickly.

Get Cool or Get Help Now if you feel:

  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Muscle Cramps
  • Weakness
  • Nausea or Vomiting

Call 9-1-1 for these symptoms:

  • Hot, dry skin
  • Confusion
  • Unconscious
  • Chest Pains
  • Shortness of Breath

Stay safe and keep cool this summer!

  1. Outlook Statement – Issued daily to highlight potential hazardous weather in the next 1 to 7 days. Periods when Heat Index will equal or exceed 95 are mentioned (could lead to Heat Advisory or Excessive Heat Warning conditions). Issued as a Hazardous Weather Outlook (HWO). Broadcasted on NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards, and posted on NWS web sites (www.weather.gov).
  2. Heat Advisory – Issued 6 to 36 hours in advance of a daytime period in which daytime heat index (HI) values of 100 degrees or more are expected. Additionally, if daytime HI values are expected to be 95 to 99 degrees for four consecutive days or more, an Advisory should be issued.
  3. Excessive Heat Watch – Issued generally 12 to 48 hours in advance of Excessive Heat Warning conditions are expected.
  4. Excessive Heat Warning – Issued 6 to 36 hours in advance of any occurrence of a 48-hour period in which daytime heat index (HI) values are expected to be 105 degrees or higher and nighttime HI values will be 75 degrees or higher. Additionally, if four consecutive days of daytime HI values of 100 to 104 are expected, an Excessive Heat Warning will be issued.

For additional information about heat awareness, contact your County Emergency Management Director or the National Weather Service.