Heat Preparedness


  • Avoid becoming dehydrated. Drink more fluids (non-alcoholic), regardless of your activity or thirst level.  *Warning: If your doctor generally limits the amount of fluid you drink or has you on water pills, ask your doctor how much you should drink while the weather is hot.
  • Don’t drink liquids that contain alcohol or large amounts of sugar.  These actually cause you to lose more body fluid. Avoid very cold drinks - they can cause stomach cramps.
  • Stay in a cool environment.  If your home does not have air conditioning, go to a shopping mall or public library.  Call 2-1-1 or (916) 498-1000 to see if there are any Cooling Stations in your area.
  • Take a cool shower or bath, or moving to an air-conditioned place to cool off.
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
  • Never leave anyone or any animal in a closed, parked vehicle.
  • Although anyone at any time can suffer from heat-related illness, some people are at greater risk than others. Check regularly on:
    • Infants and young children
    • People aged 65 or older
    • People who have a mental illness
    • Those who are physically ill, especially with heart disease or high blood pressure
  • Visit adults at risk at least twice a day, watching for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Infants and young children need more frequent watching.

Outdoor Activity

  • Limit your outdoor activity to morning and evening hours.
  • Cut down on exercise. If you must exercise, drink two to four glasses of cool, non-alcoholic fluids each hour.  A sports beverage can replace the salt and minerals you lose in sweat. Warning: If you are on a low-salt diet, talk with your doctor before drinking a sports beverage.
  • Try to rest often in shady areas.
  • Protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and wearing sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher (the most effective products say “broad spectrum” or “UVA/UVB protection” on their labels).

More Information