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Heat Awareness

Most Summers in the United States produce heat waves that bring health risks if precautions are not taken. Heat is one of the leading weather-related killers in the United States, resulting in hundreds of fatalities each year and even more heat-related illnesses.

During extremely hot and humid weather, your body’s ability to cool itself is challenged due to decreased evaporation of sweat. When your body can no longer adequately cool itself or when too much water or salt is lost through sweating, your body temperature rises and heat-related illness can occur.

In 2017, there were 42 vehicular heatstroke children deaths in the United States. So far this year, there have been 7 vehicular heatstroke deaths in the United States. Never leave children or pets in a vehicle. Look before you lock! The temperature in a vehicle can quickly become deadly. If the out-side temperature is 80 degrees Fahrenheit, in 10 minutes the temperature inside the vehicle will be near 100 degrees, in 30 minutes near 115 degrees and in 1 hour, near 125 degrees.

During periods of hot and humid weather:

Drink water often
Take breaks and cool down
Wear lightweight, loose fitting, light-colored clothing to reflect sunlight
Eat light and easy-to-digest foods such as fruit or salads
Make sure pets and livestock have access to water
Check on neighbors

For additional safety and forecast information visit:

The National Weather Service is working with its partners to build a Weather-Ready Nation to support community resilience in the face of increasing vulnerability to extreme weather. Visit the Des Moines NWS office website, follow us on Twitter (@NWSDesMoines) and on Facebook

The Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management leads, coordinates and supports homeland security and emergency management functions in order to establish sustainable communities and ensure economic opportunities for Iowa and its citizens. Follow us on Twitter (@IowaHSEMD) and on Facebook.


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