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Emergency Management Agency

summer safety

On average, more people die from heat-related causes each year than any other weather hazard. Yet many people still don’t take heat dangers seriously.  That’s why we are working to increase awareness of heat safety throughout July, traditionally one of the hottest months in Illinois.

According to statistics compiled by the National Weather Service (NWS), more than 3,800 people died from heat-related causes in the U.S. from 1986 - 2013.  During that same period, floods caused 2,246 fatalities while tornadoes were responsible for 2,016 deaths.

One of the most important safety tips when temperatures rise is to never leave children, disabled adults or pets in parked cars.  Each year, dozens of children and countless pets left in parked vehicles die from hyperthermia.  Hyperthermia occurs when the body absorbs more heat than it can handle.  

Temperatures inside a parked vehicle can rapidly rise to a dangerous level for children, pets and even adults.  Leaving the windows slightly open does not significantly decrease the heating rate.  The effects can be more severe on children because their bodies warm at a faster rate than adults.

Parents and caregivers are urged to take actions that will help them remember a child is in the backseat, such as placing a purse, briefcase, cell phone or other crucial item next to the child. 

It’s also important to lock your vehicle doors when at home even if it is parked in the garage.  Curious children can climb into an unlocked vehicle and become a victim of heat stroke. 


Some common sense tips for handling the heat include the following:

  • drink lots of water and natural juices. (Please avoid alcoholic beverages, coffees and colas.);
  • avoid going out into blazing heat, if possible;
  • avoid or minimize physical exertion;
  • keep shades drawn and blinds closed, but windows slightly open;
  • do not place tin foil over your windows, as the room temperature will rise;
  • keep electric lights off or turned down;
  • take frequent cool baths or showers or use cool towels;
  • remain in air conditioning either at home or at a cooling center (Only 1 or 2 hours in air conditioning can prevent a person from becoming ill.);
  • wear loose cotton clothing;
  • do not eat heavy meals (eat small meals and eat more often);
  • avoid using cooking ovens;
  • avoid using salt tablets unless directed to do so by a physician;
  • if you are taking medications, check with your pharmacist or your doctor on any side effects due to the heat;
  • check on family members, friends and neighbors; and above all, take the heat seriously, and do not ignore danger signs like nausea, dizziness and fatigue. If you or anyone you know needs medical attention, call 911 or the local Police Department immediately.


When prolong periods of hot and humid weather conditions occur, a number of options exist if a resident needs to seek comfort from these extreme conditions.  These include:

  • Relocate to a friend or relative’s residence.
  • Visit malls, movie theaters, libraries, and other similar facilities open to the public for reasonable lengths of time.
  • Visit one of the Cooling Centers that may already be in operation.  Be sure to call ahead before going to the Cooling Center to ensure it is open.


NWS Thunderstorms, Tornadoes, Lightning

Severe Weather Preparedness – Illinois Emergency Management Agency

Surviving Disasters…A Citizen’s Emergency Handbook – Illinois Department of Public Health


prepare 2014

This year’s Resolve to Be Ready campaign focuses on ‘Family Connection’ to reinforce the importance of parents including their children in preparedness conversations in advance of potential disasters. The Ready campaign makes and emergency preparedness resolution easy to keep by recommending families consider these three ideas when making a plan: who to call, where to meet, and what to pack.

The campaign includes age-appropriate tools and resources to introduce conversations about disaster preparedness to children on, including a downloadable family emergency plan, emergency kit checklists, and guidelines on how to make preparedness a year-round family activity. Additional templates are available on this website under the Preparedness tab. Check out the materials that you can use in your community to get families prepared in 2014.


Do you ‘LIKE’ us on Facebook? If not, you should check us out. For those of you who ‘LIKE’ us we’ve made some recent changes. LIKE us at ‘Will County Emergency Management Agency’ will provide you a great source of information before, during, and after an emergency.

In 2014 we welcome our new page ‘Will County Alerts’, we have moved our automated posts of severe weather advisories, watches, and warning from the National Weather Service for Will County to this page. Additionally other larger scale emergency information will begin to be posted on this page. LIKE us at ‘Will County Alerts’. Remember nothing replaces a NOAA Weather Radio; this is another tool for us to help provide emergency information to the public.