Extreme Heat Preparedness

Understanding the Danger of Extreme Heat

Extreme heat is defined as a long period of high heat combined with humidity and temperatures above 90 degrees. In extreme heat, evaporation is slowed and the human body must work extra hard to maintain a normal temperature. Remember that:

  • Extreme heat can occur quickly and without warning;
  • Older adults, children, and sick or overweight individuals are at greatest risk from extreme heat; and
  • Humidity increases the feeling of heat.

Quick Tip: Organizations that Should Take Extra Precautions during Extreme Heat

Schools, day camps, and non-school related sports organizations or athletes should take extra precaution when there is extreme heat. Sports practice and other outdoor activities should be scheduled early or very late in the day in order to limit the amount of time spent in the sun and heat.

Staying Safe: Before Extreme Heat

Prepare for extreme heat by doing the following:

  • Check your local weather forecast regularly by visiting the National Weather Service. Also, make it a habit to watch news reports so that you’re aware when there will be hot weather conditions.
  • Find places in your community where you can go get cool. Find a Cooling Center nearest to you by clicking HERE.
  • Keep your home cool by covering windows with drapes/shades, add insulation to keep the heat out, use attic fans to clear hot air, and install window air conditioners and insulate around them.
  • Power outages may occur when there is extreme heat. Click on this link to review safety tips for power outages.

Staying Safe: During Extreme Heat



Avoid the sun – stay indoors from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. when the burning rays are strongest.

Drink plenty of fluids – drink 2 to 4 glasses of water every hour during times of extreme heat.

Replace salt and minerals – sweating removes salt and minerals from your body, so replenish these nutrients with low sugar fruit juices or sports drinks during exercise or when working outside.

Avoid alcohol.


Pace yourself – reduce physical activity and avoid exercising outdoors during peak heat hours.


Wear appropriate clothing – wear a wide-brimmed hat and light-colored lightweight, loose-fitting clothes when you are outdoors.

Stay cool indoors – set your air conditioner between 75° to 80°. If you don’t have air conditioning, take a cool shower twice a day and visit a public air conditioned facility.

Monitor those at high risk – check on elderly neighbors and family and friends who do not have air conditioning. Infants and children up to 4 years old, people who overexert during work or exercise (e.g. construction workers) and people 65 years and older are at the highest risk of heat-related illnesses.

Use sun screen with a sun protection factor of at least 15 if you need to be in the sun.

Keep pets indoors – heat also affects your pets, keep them indoors or if they will be outside, make sure they have plenty of water and a shaded area to help them keep cool.

Video - "Summer Heat Safety Tips"

Watch the above video to get summer heat related safety tips, brought to you by the Los Angeles County Fire Department. For more information on extreme heat preparedness visit ready.lacounty.gov/heat/.