Extreme Heat

Normally, when you get hot, your body cools itself by sweating. But when its very hot and humid, sweating just isn't enough. In such cases, a person's body temperature rises rapidly. Very high body temperatures may damage the brain or other vital organs and even cause death. Signs of overheating include:

What You Should Do

  • Stay out of the direct sun. Seek shaded or air conditioned areas such as libraries or malls;
  • Drink plenty of fluids (avoid alcohol and caffeine);
  • In buildings without air conditioning, open windows use fans, and keep shades or curtains drawn the during the day;
  • Schedule outdoor events early in the morning when it's cooler and the air quality is better;
  • Ride the bus on air quality alert days - it's free;
  • Pace yourself when you excercise;
  • Take cool showers or baths;
  • Wear light-colored, light-weight clothing. Use hats with brims and sunscreen (SPF 30 or more) for more protection;
  • Check on friends, family, and neighbors;
  • Never leave a child, a disabled or elderly person, or a pet in an unattended car. A closed vehicle can heat up to dangerous levels in as little as ten minutes;
  • Check the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency for updates of cooling center locations;
  • Seek medical attention immediately for anyone showing signs of heat stroke.

At-Risk Populations

  • Babies and young children;
  • The elderly
  • People with chronic conditions;
  • People who are obese;
  • Athletes;
  • Outdoor workers;
  • People of low socio-economic status;
  • People living on the coast or in flood zones.