Without proper intervention, heat exhaustion can progress to heat stroke, which can damage the brain and other vital organs, and even cause death.
When the mercury rises to dangerous levels, Chicago's Office of Emergency Management and Communications wants residents to keep the following tips in mind:
- Drink plenty of water, at least eight glasses a day to avoid dehydration and ensure that children stay well hydrated.
- Wear loose, light cotton clothing.
- Avoid or minimize physical exertion and direct exposure to the sun;
- Do not let anyone sit in a hot, parked car, not even for a few minutes;
- Visit one of the City's temporary cooling centers: Chicago police district headquarters; Chicago Public Library locations during public hours of operation and other public buildings.
- Call 3-1-1 for the nearest City Cooling Center located within the six Community Service Centers operated by the Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS)
- Contact local Chicago Park District facilities to find out about beach and park hours and programs.
- Sign up for extreme weather alerts by visiting www.AlertChicago.com and clicking on the Notify Chicago.
If you see someone suffering from heat exhaustion or heat stroke, take immediate action. Call 911 immediately and then try to safely move the person into a cool place and cool the person with water.
OEMC also urges Chicagoans to be good neighbors and check on the disabled and elderly who may not understand the effects of extreme heat, or call 3-1-1 to request well-being checks and rides to cooling centers.