Heat Alert Guidelines: General Public

thermometer and sun

  • Limit time in the sun when the UV Index (ultraviolet ray strength) is most intense, between 11am - 4pm.
  • Take cool showers or baths. Electric fans improve air circulation, but will not prevent heat-related illness.
  • During extreme temperature conditions, stay indoors and if at all possible, stay in an air-conditioned place.  If your home does not have air conditioning, go to a shopping mall, library, recreational facility or heat-relief shelter.
  • Be aware of signs and symptoms of heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke.  Follow first aid procedures promptly.
  • When in the sun, wear a wide-brimmed hat (or with back flap), UV protective sunglasses, loose-fitting long shirts and pants. Seek shade when outside, especially during midday.
  • Apply Sunscreen with SPF 30 (or higher), 20-30 minutes before going outside to ensure absorption.  Reapply every 2-3 hours.
  • When using DEET insect repellent, be sure to read the instructions on the bottle and use sparingly. Apply 20-30 minutes after sunscreen has been applied.
  • Sunscreens/insect repellents are not recommended for infants under 6 months of age.  Keep babies less than 1 year of age out of direct sunlight with canopied strollers or other shade covers.
  • Check regularly on children, elderly, persons with disabilities and individuals with chronic illnesses; ensure they are well hydrated (plain water is the liquid of choice).  Decrease intake of caffeinated/alcoholic beverages during hot days.
  • NEVER leave anyone – young children, elderly or pets in a closed parked vehicle for any period of time.
  • During times of extreme temperature, reduce use of your vehicle, stop unnecessary vehicle idling; avoid using oil-based paints and glues, pesticides or gas-powered small engines since it can affect the air quality.
  • Recognize and prevent heat-related illnesses.
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