12:55 PM

Staying Safe in the Extreme Heat

With weather forecasts calling for record high temperatures across Montana this week, it’s important to know how to stay safe in the extreme heat. According to FEMA, extreme heat (defined as a period of 2-3 days or more of heat and humidity with temperatures above 90 degrees) often results in the highest annual number of deaths among all weather-related disasters. 

If you are under an extreme heat warning:

  • Find air conditioning, if possible
  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Watch for heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke
  • Avoid strenuous activities
  • Watch for heat illness
  • Wear light clothing
  • Never leave people or pets in a closed car
  • Check on family members and neighbors

It’s important to know the signs of heat illnesses and the ways to treat them.

Heat Cramps

Signs: Muscle pains or spasms in the stomach, arms or legs.

Actions: Go to a cooler location. Remove excess clothing. Take sips of cool sports drinks with salt and sugar. Get medical help if cramps last more than an hour.

Heat Exhaustion

Signs: Heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, tiredness, weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea or vomiting, and fainting.

Actions: Go to an air-conditioned place and lie down. Loosen or remove clothing. Take a cool bath. Take sips of cool sports drinks with salt and sugar. Get medical help if symptoms get worse or last more than an hour.

Heat Stroke

Signs: Extremely high body temperature (above 103 degrees) indicated by an oral thermometer; red, hot, and dry skin with no sweat; rapid, strong pulse; dizziness; confusion; and unconsciousness.

Actions: Call 9-1-1 or get the person to a hospital immediately. Cool down with whatever methods are available until medical help arrives.