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Planning for Extreme Heat

Preventative Steps to Reduce your Risk for Illness during Excessive Heat Events

Many older adults are at a heightened risk for heat-related illness or death. With age, the body’s cooling mechanisms may become impaired and living alone or confined to a bed can further increase risk. This page describes the many simple preventative steps you can take to decrease the impact of excessive heat events.

Reducing your Risk during Excessive Heat Events

Excessive heat events: Excessive heat events are prolonged periods when temperatures reach 10 degrees Fahrenheit or more above the average high temperature for a region

Who is at risk from extreme heat: Older adults, young children as well as those with chronic illnesses are at high risk from excessive heat events.  In addition, people who live on top floors without air conditioning, participate in strenuous outdoor activities and consume alcohol are more likely to be at risk.

What is heat stroke: Heat stroke is the most serious health effect of excessive heat events, when the body loses its ability to cool itself. If not treated immediately, heat stroke can cause severe and permanent damage to vital organs.

How to identify heat stroke: Victims' skin will appears hot, dry, and red. Other warning signs are confusion, hallucinations, and aggression.


How to protect against exposure to excessive heat:



Additional Resources:

Fact Sheets:

You will need Adobe Reader to view some of the files on this page. See EPA's PDF page to learn more.

Extreme Heat: Effects on Children and Pregnant Women

For more detailed information, please see our series of easy-to-follow facts sheets and brochures.

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