Woman drinking from water bottle in the sun

Protect Yourself from Extreme Heat

You can take action to protect yourself and your home on extremely hot days.

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Keep your body cool Keep your home cool

Keep your body cool

Keeping yourself safe during extreme heat conditions means keeping yourself comfortable and hydrated and monitoring your health. Extreme heat is the deadliest climate-related impact and high temperatures can be very dangerous for your health. Take precautions, stay cool and stay safe. 

Drink water: On hot days it is especially important to stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water and avoid sugary soft drinks or caffeine.  Caffeinated beverages will dehydrate your body faster.   

Wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothing 

Know the signs and symptoms of heat stress. If you’re exposed to too much heat for too long, your body will react with cramps or muscle spasms, heavy sweating, tiredness, nausea, fainting or extremely high body temperature.  If you experience the signs of heat cramps, heat exhaustion or heat stroke, get to a cool place immediately and get medical help if symptoms don’t improve. View the Ready Raleigh Emergency Preparedness Guide to learn more about how to prepare for extreme heat and other emergencies. 

If possible, avoid strenuous work during the hottest part of the day. Take frequent breaks from work outside on hot days.   

Never leave children or pets alone in hot vehicles.  

Stay out of the heat if possible: If you need a place to keep cool, visit a library, park, community center or pool. To help escape the heat at home, visit one of Raleigh’s many parks, community centers, pools or splash pads. This will help relieve heat stress on your body and connect you to our green spaces and natural resources. Please check operating hours and amenities before you go!  You can also visit a Wake County Public Library

During a heat emergency, Wake County operates Cooling Centers. Check their website https://www.wakegov.com/  for details.   

Girl cannonballs into pool at Biltmore Park

Keep your home cool

Keeping your home at a comfortable temperature will help keep you safe from heat stress and heat illness. Use fans to circulate air when people are occupying a room and use ventilation when showering and while cooking to move hot air out.  Air conditioning can provide critical relief during our Southern summers.  It helps relieve heat stress on our bodies and helps us get quality sleep, which can protect against heat-related illnesses. If you have difficulties paying for a fan or air conditioning, Wake County’s Cool for Wake program may be helpful if you qualify. You can also save money on your electric bills with some simple energy efficiency tips.

A longer term strategy to protect your property from heat is planting trees in your yard. Trees are a great source of climate action. Not only does their shade provide protection from heat to outdoor spaces and buildings, but they also protect properties from flooding and erosion and they capture carbon emissions.   

A closeup view of a person using their hands to plant a tree



Nicole Goddard

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