How to Protect Yourself from the Dangers of Extreme Heat, CDC Issues New Resources

Protect Yourself from the Dangers of Extreme HeatThe U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced a new website, video and other resources with tips and information on extreme heat and how to prevent heat-related deaths and illness, as temperatures rise this summer.

In a release circulated on Thursday, June 6, the CDC urged people to “prepare for extreme heat this summer by staying cool, hydrated, and informed.”

“No one should die from a heat wave, but every year on average, extreme heat causes 658 deaths in the United States—more than tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, and lightning combined,” said Robin Ikeda, MD, MPH, acting director of the CDC’s National Center for Environmental Health.

“Extreme heat can lead to very high body temperatures, brain and organ damage, and even death,” the CDC warned. “Taking common sense steps in extreme temperatures can prevent heat-related illnesses and deaths.”

“People suffer heat-related illness when their bodies are unable to compensate and cool themselves properly. Extreme heat affects everyone, but the elderly, children, the poor or homeless, persons who work or exercise outdoors, and those with chronic medical conditions are most at risk,” the CDC said.

In the following video, released by the CDC on June 6, Dr. Ikeda presents common-sense tips and information on how to avoid extreme-heat-related illness and death »

On June 11, the CDC also announced the following new resources on extreme heat, which the agency now provides to the public:

New Resources on Extreme Heat

  • Extreme Heat and Your Health Website: This new page collects CDC resources on extreme heat in one place and provides information on how to prevent heat-related illnesses and deaths for a variety of audiences.  The site can be accessed at
  • Environmental Public Health Tracking Data: CDC’s Environmental Public Health Tracking Network introduces new data on heat-stress hospitalizations and emergency room visits from 2000-2011.  This adds to the records already available on extreme temperatures, heat-related deaths, and social and environmental conditions that make people vulnerable to extreme heat.  Decision makers can use these data to plan how and where to focus efforts to protect the public from extreme heat.  The Tracking Network can be accessed at”
  • Climate Change and Extreme Heat Events Guidebook: This recently released guidebook for state and local health departments describes how to prepare for and respond to extreme heat events and explains how the frequency, duration, and severity of these events are increasing as a result of climate change. An audio file for the recent CDC extreme heat event webinar is also available for tips and guidance. The guidebook is available at Adobe PDF file  The webinar archive can be accessed at:
  • Rare Heat Events Will Become More Common

    Image from Climate Change and Extreme Heat Events Guidebook

  • Workplace Solutions Bulletin: This recently released NIOSH bulletin provides updated statistics, case studies and recommendations for workers and employers to follow in order to reduce the risk of heat-related illness when working outdoors.  The report provides specific guidance, examples and it adds to the available resources that illustrate how extreme heat exposures can lead to occupational illnesses and injuries and possible death.  The NIOSH resources are available at: and

For more information on extreme heat and heat safety, the CDC invites people to call 1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636) or visit

More Information

See related HelpingYouCare® reports on:

Govt News Bulletin Gives Preparation & Safety Tips for Summer Weather Emergencies

Don’t Fry Day – May 25 – Focuses on Sun Safety & Preventing Skin Cancer

Memorial Day Health Message for Caregivers: Wellness Tips from the CDC

Facts About Sunscreens from the American Academy of Dermatology

For information on other lifestyle factors that promote wellness and prevent diseases, see the HelpingYouCare® resource pages on Wellness/ Healthy Living for Seniors & Caregivers, including:


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