During a heat wave, everyone is at risk. Extreme heat can lead to adverse health effects such as heat stroke. When you are building your family emergency plan review and discuss these safety tips with your entire household to make sure everyone understands what to do.
If you are indoors:
- Stay indoors as much as possible to limit exposure to the sun.
- Take frequent cool showers or baths.
- Stay on the lowest floor out of the sunshine if air conditioning is not available.
- Eat well-balanced, light, and regular meals. Avoid using salt unless directed to do so by a physician.
- Check on family, friends, and neighbours who do not have air conditioning and who spend much of their time alone.
If you are outdoors:
- Consider spending the hottest part of the day in public buildings that have air conditioning.
- Drink fluids (water is recommended) every 15 to 20 minutes even if you do not feel thirsty. Individuals with health problems should consult a physician before increasing their consumption of fluids.
- Wear light-coloured, loose-fitting clothing that cover as much skin as possible.
- Protect your face and head by wearing a wide-brimmed hat.
- Wear sunglasses that provide full UVA and UVB protection for your eyes.
- Apply SPF 15 or greater sunscreen 20 minutes before going outdoors. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen to ears and nose which are particularly susceptible to sunburn. Protect your lips with an SPF 15 or higher lip balm.
- If you feel dizzy, weak or overheated, go to a cool place. Sit or lie down, drink water and wash your face with cool water. If you don't feel better soon, seek medical help immediately.
- Review and discuss the safety tips with your entire household to make sure everyone understands what to do in extreme heat conditions.
- Cover windows that receive morning or afternoon sun with drapes, shades or awnings.
- Include extra water, sunscreen and sunglasses (with full UVA and UVB protection) in your emergency survival kit.