Extreme heat is dangerous because it can push your body temperature beyond its limits. If your body can’t cool itself fast enough, permanent damage or even death can occur. When there's a heat risk in Riverside, the National Weather Service in San Diego issues alerts. Sign up to receive emergency alerts.
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While elderly people, the disabled, young children, those who are sick, live alone or are overweight are more likely to become victims of excessive heat, the effects of heat can quickly overcome the healthiest people, especially if they perform strenuous work during the warmest parts of the day. Symptoms of dehydration and heat illness may not be easily recognized.
Know the Terms
Heat Advisory: A Heat Advisory is issued within 12 hours of the onset of extremely dangerous heat conditions. The general rule of thumb for this Advisory is when the maximum heat index temperature is expected to be 100° or higher for at least 2 days, and night time air temperatures will not drop below 75°; however, these criteria vary across the country, especially for areas that are not used to dangerous heat conditions. Take precautions to avoid heat illness. If you don't take precautions, you may become seriously ill or even die.
Excessive Heat Watch: Heat watches are issued when conditions are favorable for an excessive heat event in the next 24 to 72 hours. A Watch is used when the risk of a heat wave has increased but its occurrence and timing is still uncertain.
Excessive Heat Warning: An Excessive Heat Warning is issued within 12 hours of the onset of extremely dangerous heat conditions. The general rule of thumb for this Warning is when the maximum heat index temperature is expected to be 105° or higher for at least 2 days and night time air temperatures will not drop below 75°; however, these criteria vary across the country, especially for areas not used to extreme heat conditions. If you don't take precautions immediately when conditions are extreme, you may become seriously ill or even die.
Heat Index: How hot it feels when relative humidity is added to air temperature.
During extreme heat
- Stay cool
- Stay inside in air conditioning.
- Go to air-conditioned places like a library, rec center, or mall.
- Stay out of the sun and wear a hat. Take breaks often.
- Check on family, friends, and neighbors.
- Don't leave your pets outside or in a car.
- Stay hydrated
- Drink plenty of water, even if you don’t feel thirsty.
- Avoid alcohol and sugary drinks.
- Remind others to drink water.
- Stay informed about weather conditions.
- Know the symptoms of heat illness.
- Children under 4, adults over 65, and people who are overweight or ill are especially at risk of heat-related illnesses. Here’s how you can recognize heat-related illness and what you should do.
- Heavy sweating
- Cold, pale, and clammy skin
- Weak pulse
- Fainting and vomiting
- What You Should Do
- Move to a cooler location.
- Lie down and loosen your clothing.
- Apply cool, wet cloths to as much of your body as possible.
- Sip water.
- If you have vomited and it continues, seek medical attention immediately.
- High body temperature (above 103°F)
- Hot, red, dry, or moist skin
- Rapid and strong pulse
- Possible unconsciousness
- What You Should Do
- Call 911 immediately — this is a medical emergency.
- Move the person to a cooler environment.
- Reduce the person's body temperature with cool cloths or even a bath.
- Do NOT give fluids.