Extreme Heat

Extreme heat or heat waves occur when temperatures reach high levels or when the combination of heat and humidity causes the air to become oppressive.

When Under an Extreme Heat Warning

  • Find air conditioning.
  • Check on family members and neighbors.
  • Avoid strenuous activities.
  • Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Watch for heat illness
  • Watch for heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke.
  • Never leave people or pets in a closed car.
  • Wear light clothing.


Find a cooling center near you. Visit a Chesapeake Public Library branch or Chesapeake Community Center location.

  • Central Library - 298 Cedar Road
  • Dr. Clarence V. Cuffee Outreach and Innovation Library - 2726 Border Road
  • Greenbrier Library - 1214 Volvo Parkway
  • Indian River Library - 2320 Old Greenbrier Road
  • Major Hillard Library - 824 Old George Washington Highway, North
  • Russell Memorial Library - 2808 Taylor Road
  • South Norfolk Memorial Library - 801 Poindexter Street
  • Deep Creek Community Center - 2901 Margaret Booker Drive
  • Dr. Clarence V. Cuffee Community Center - 2019 Windy Road
  • Great Bridge Community Center - 212 Holt Drive
  • Indian River Community Center - 2250 Old Greenbrier Road
  • River Crest Community Center - 1001 River Walk Parkway
  • South Norfolk Community Center - 1217 Godwin Avenue
  • Western Branch Community Center - 4437 Portsmouth Boulevard

Try to keep your home cool:

  • Cover windows with drapes or shades.
  • Weather-strip doors and windows.
  • Use window reflectors such as aluminum foil-covered cardboard to reflect heat back outside.
  • Add insulation to keep the heat out.
  • Use a powered attic ventilator, or attic fan, to regulate the heat level of a building's attic by clearing hot air.
  • Install window air conditioners and insulate around them.

Learn to recognize the signs of heat illness.

Stay Safe

  • Never leave a child, adult, or animal alone inside a vehicle on a warm day.
  • Find places with air conditioning. Libraries, shopping malls, and community centers can provide a cool place to take a break from the heat.
  • If you're outside, find shade. Wear a hat wide enough to protect your face.
  • Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
  • Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated. If you or someone you care for is on a special diet, ask a doctor what would be best.
  • Do not use electric fans when the temperature outside is more than 95 degrees. You could increase the risk of heat-related illness. Fans create air flow and a false sense of comfort but do not reduce body temperature.
  • Avoid high-energy activities.
  • Check yourself, family members, and neighbors for signs of heat-related illness.

Recognize & Respond

Know the signs and ways to treat heat-related illnesses.

Heat Cramps

  • Signs: Muscle pains or spasms in the stomach, arms, or legs.
  • Actions: Go to a cooler location. Remove excess clothing. Take sips of cool sports drinks with salt and sugar. Get medical help if cramps last more than an hour.

Heat Exhaustion

  • Signs: Heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, tiredness, weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea or vomiting, and fainting.
  • Actions: Go to an air-conditioned place and lie down. Loosen or remove clothing. Take a cool bath. Take sips of cool sports drinks with salt and sugar. Get medical help if symptoms get worse or last more than an hour.

Heat Stroke

  • Signs: Extremely high body temperature (above 103 degrees) indicated by an oral thermometer; red, hot, and dry skin with no sweat; rapid, strong pulse; dizziness; confusion; and unconsciousness.
  • Actions: Call 911 or get the person to a hospital immediately. Cool down with whatever methods are available until medical help arrives.

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