Protecting Against Heat-Related Illness


The National Weather Services has created heat advisories for many areas of Oregon this week. Excessive heat is very dangerous and can claim lives if people aren’t practicing safety measures.

Oregonians need to be aware of the ways they can protect themselves during a heat wave, and the ways the State is providing relief during these heat emergencies. The following will include some heat safety practices from the Oregon Health Authority and information on how to find cooling centers near you.

1. Drink lots of water

On hot days people should be drinking more water than usual, don’t wait until you are thirsty, you should be drinking water all day long. Staying hydrated can help your body regulate its temperature during the hot summer days. 

2. Take a cool shower or bath

Taking a cool bath or shower lowers your body temperature and provides relief from the heat. 

3. Don’t use your oven or stove to cook 

Using your oven or stove will heat up your house. 

4. Know the warning signs of heat related illness

Signs of heat exhaustion are:

  • Faint or dizziness
  • Heavy sweat
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fast weak pulse
  • Cold, pale, clammy skin
  • Muscle cramps

If you or someone you know are experiencing these symptoms, move to a cooler location, drink water, lie down and loosen your clothing. 

Signs of heat stroke are: 

  • High body temperature (above 103 degrees)
  • Red, hot, dry, or damp skin
  • Fast, strong pulse
  • Headache
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Possibility of losing consciousness 

If you or someone you know are experiencing these symptoms call 911 immediately, heat stroke is a medical emergency.

5. You can always visit an emergency cooling center

To find cooling centers near you, dial 211 or visit their heat-related resources, including a guide to cooling centers, here.

Visit OHA’s site on preventing heat-related illness if you are concerned for your health and safety during heat waves. 

“Preventing Heat-Related Illness.” Oregon Health Authority, OHA, Accessed 27 July 2022.

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(she, her) Governor Browns Communication Teams Intern

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