Heat waves cause more deaths in the United States than all other weather-related disasters. They’re only getting worse with climate change, so it’s essential that you prepare!

The checklist below gives you an overview of what to do to prepare for a heat wave. For more details, read our guide of preparing for heat waves.

Why Prepare for Heat Waves?

Preparing for heat waves is important for several reasons, as extreme heat events can have significant impacts on health, safety, and overall well-being. Here are some key reasons why you should take heat wave preparedness seriously:

  • Heat-Related Illness Prevention: High temperatures can lead to heat-related illnesses such as heat exhaustion and heatstroke, which can be life-threatening. Being prepared helps you take steps to stay cool, hydrated, and minimize the risk of these illnesses.
  • Vulnerable Populations: Vulnerable groups, such as the elderly, infants, and individuals with pre-existing health conditions, are at higher risk during heat waves. Preparing ensures that you can support and protect the health of those most susceptible to extreme heat.
  • Energy and Utility Resilience: Heat waves can strain the power grid, leading to power outages. Preparedness includes having backup power sources, such as generators or solar panels, to maintain essential services like air conditioning and refrigeration.
  • Property Protection: Extreme heat can cause damage to property, including warping or cracking of structures, roads, and vehicles. Taking steps to protect your home and possessions can mitigate potential damage.
  • Environmental Impact: Heat waves can have adverse effects on the environment, such as droughts, wildfires, and damage to ecosystems. Preparing for heat waves can include conserving water, following fire safety measures, and reducing your environmental impact.
  • Community Resilience: When individuals and communities are prepared for heat waves, it reduces the burden on emergency services, ensuring they can respond to the most critical needs.
  • Mental and Emotional Well-being: Extreme heat can be mentally and emotionally taxing, causing stress and discomfort. Preparedness measures, such as having a cool place to retreat to, can promote mental well-being during heat waves.
  • Economic Impact: Prolonged heat waves can have a substantial economic impact, affecting industries such as agriculture and tourism. Preparedness helps you adapt to these economic challenges and minimize losses.
  • Water and Food Supply: Heat waves can lead to water shortages and impact food production. Being prepared with a sufficient supply of water and non-perishable food can help you weather these challenges.
  • General Safety: High temperatures can also increase the risk of wildfires, making it important to be aware of fire safety measures and evacuation plans.

Preparing for heat waves is essential to safeguard your health, property, and overall well-being. Heat wave preparedness measures ensure that you can stay safe and comfortable during extreme heat events, reduce the burden on emergency services, and adapt to the challenges posed by high temperatures.