Climate models predict that extreme heat will become more frequent and intense as climate change continues. #SummerReady aims to reach vulnerable populations and boost awareness of the impacts of extreme heat and the simple steps to prepare.
Extreme heat can be especially dangerous to special groups of people across communities, including:
- Lower income households
- Rural communities
- Residents in urban heat islands
- Infants and children
- Older adults
- Individuals with medical conditions
Ready Campaign’s first ever #SummerReady public education effort is designed to reach all communities with simple, accessible and culturally competent messaging on extreme heat all summer long.
Take Simple Steps
Being #SummerReady means understanding your risk of extreme heat and taking steps now to prepare.
Tips for Everyone
- Learn the signs of heat-related illnesses and ways to respond, from the CDC.
- Fans alone aren’t enough in high heat + high humidity. Get inside in air conditioning or go to a public place like the library, museum, or shopping mall to beat the heat.
- NEVER leave children or pets alone in hot vehicles! Heat can rise in a car, up to 20 degrees in just 10 minutes.
- During extreme heat, check on family, friends, and neighbors who do not have air conditioning and who spend much of their time alone.
- Roughly 40% of unwanted heat buildup in our homes is through windows. Use awnings or curtains to keep the heat out.
- Use your oven less during extreme heat advisories and warnings so you don’t make your house hotter.
Tips for Your Specific Needs
Some people have situations that need a little more attention. Find unique tips below for what you need.
"I need ideas that don't cost a lot of money."
- Identify places in your community where you can go to get cool such as libraries and shopping malls or contact your local health department to find a cooling center in your area.
- Check the weather stripping on doors and windows to keep the cool air in.
- Have multiple ways to move air and reduce the temperature in your home. Fans create a sense of comfort, but may not be enough to reduce body temperature or prevent heat-related illnesses.
- If you are unable to afford your cooling costs, weatherization or energy-related home repairs, contact the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) for help.
"I am an older adult."
- Do not stay home alone during a summer power outage or an extreme heat event.
- Make sure a trusted friend or relative has an extra key to your home, knows where you keep your emergency supplies and can use lifesaving equipment or administer medicine.
- Drink fluids regularly to avoid getting dehydrated and overheated. Talk to your doctor about whether you need fluids with extra electrolytes in the heat.
- Be careful with the amount of time you spend outdoors. Take frequent breaks to come back inside, cool off, and drink fluids that don’t have caffeine.
"I work outside."
- Make sure you drink LOTS of water to stay hydrated and prevent dehydration, heat stroke & more.
- Use cloths or even a T-shirt from the freezer to wear around your neck during extreme heat advisories or warnings.
- Take frequent breaks to hydrate and cool down.
- Wear a hat wide enough to protect your face.
"I have a health condition that makes the heat really hard on my body."
- Work with your support network if you have one - caregivers, neighbors, family and friends - to monitor and address your heat-related needs. Have them check in with you regularly to ensure you are safe and healthy.
- Read the side effects of medications and talk with your doctor about how heat exposure will interact with them.
- Keep a cooler and cold packs nearby to help keep refrigerated medicine, like insulin, cool during a power outage.
- Know the phone numbers and locations for local medical facilities, such as hospitals or nursing homes, to create contingency plans if you cannot access a cooling center, lose power, or need more help.
- For more tips, go to Ready.gov/disability.
"I live somewhere that makes the heat seem worse."
- Have an emergency plan that includes the location of cooling shelters and other possible locations with air-conditioning, such as an air-conditioned home of someone from your support network. Plan ahead to coordinate accessible transportation to/from one of these locations.
- If you don’t have air conditioning but have access to a freezer, place cloths and light items of clothing in there to freeze and then wear them during heat advisories and warnings.
- Try to stay in shaded areas if you must be outside.
- Carry water and other liquids with you if you plan to be away from home for a while and will be outside or on public transportation.
- CDC Resources on Extreme Heat
- National Integrated Heat Health Information System’s Heat.gov
- Biden-Harris Administration Fact Sheet on Investments to Build Community Resilience