June 15, 2018

Excessive Heat Expected for the Busy Weekend in Chicago

City agencies provide tips on avoiding heat-related emergencies

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

The Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) reminds the public to take extra precautions and to stay informed about weather-related conditions. An excessive heat watch is in effect early Saturday morning and continuing through Monday evening, with temperatures expected to reach as high as 105 degrees with warm and humid nighttime conditions in the city.

Also, with the hot and humid conditions, the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) stresses that residents and visitors take precautions to prevent mosquito bites and related diseases such as the West Nile Virus.

As temperatures rise, we remind seniors to stay indoors, if possible, and for the public to be aware of the signs and symptoms of heat stroke and heat exhaustion. Everyone should stay hydrated, stay in a cool place and stay in touch with friends and family members who may need additional help.

Chicago’s beaches and pools will be open this weekend to provide relief from the heat. Swimming is allowed when lifeguards are on duty and beach-goers should heed any warnings by officials. Visitors should check www.chicagoparkdistrict.com/beaches for updates on water conditions. Boaters are reminded to wear safety vests to keep everyone safe – even the best swimmers can experience a situation resulting in putting first responders at risk for a rescue as well.

Those attending the many outdoor events this weekend including the Puerto Rican Festival and People's Parade, Taste of Randolph, Northerly Island concert, Gold Coast Art Fair, Chicago Pride Fest, fireworks at Navy Pier and White Sox games, are cautioned to take precautions to enjoy events safely.

“Heat exhaustion” is a milder form of heat-related illness that can develop after several days of exposure to high temperatures and inadequate or unbalanced replacement of fluids. “Heat stroke” is more serious, and occurs when the body starts to lose its ability to regulate itself. The telltale signs of heat stroke are:

  • An extremely high body temperature, such as 103 degrees or above
  • Dizziness and nausea
  • A throbbing headache and a pulse that is rapid and strong
  • Skin that is red, hot and dry

If you see someone suffering from heat stroke, take immediate action. Call 9-1-1 immediately and then try to move the person into a cool place and cool the person with water.

Residents can also take advantage of the City’s Cooling Centers to find relief from extreme heat.

Call 3-1-1 to:

  • Locate a Cooling Center near you.
  • Request a well-being check for someone who may be suffering from the heat.
  • Register for the City’s Extreme Weather Notification System at www.NotifyChicago.org.

Remember to:

  • Check on relatives, neighbors and friends. If you are unable to make contact, call 3-1-1 and request a well-being check.
  • Don’t leave anyone (including pets) in a parked car, even for a few minutes.

Basic tips if your child or pet is locked in the car:

  • Call 9-1-1.
  • While waiting, cover the windows to keep the car from heating up so fast.
  • If you break the car window, do it far away from the child or pet.

To avoid locked car emergencies:

  • Look before you lock. Open the backdoor and look in the backseat to assure that everyone is out of the car (even if you think you are childless).
  • Keep something you need in the backseat. Put your cell phone, briefcase, computer, lunch, ID badge, left shoe, or anything essential to your daily routine beside your child.
  • Travel with a furry companion. Keep a stuffed animal in the car seat. When baby is in the seat, the stuffed animal rides shotgun. The furry passenger serves as a reminder that baby’s in the back.
  • Always lock the doors. Even if the car is in the garage, keep the doors locked to prevent curious children from getting into the car.
  • Put the keys and fobs away. Kids might want to play with keys and be able to get into the car without parents’ knowledge.
  • Have a plan with childcare provider. If your child does not show up to daycare or school without prior notice, someone should call to locate child.
  • If you see something, do something. If you see a child or pet alone in a car, do not hesitate to call 9-1-1.

Safety tips for Pet Owners:
Pets can suffer in extreme heat, too. Take extra precautions such as:

  • Give plenty of water (animals can get dehydrated very quickly)
  • Keep them indoors and/or out of the sun
  • Do not over-exercise your pet in the heat. Try to go our early in the morning or late evening
  • Never leave animals alone in a parked vehicle

For more information see:

West Nile Virus Prevention Efforts:
The Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) consistently monitors for West Nile Virus (WNV) across the city and determines the need for spraying based on those confirmed reports, if any. CDPH reminds residents, especially those spending time outdoors, to protect themselves from mosquito-related illness by taking a few precautionary steps. WNV can cause an illness called West Nile Fever, characterized by fever, muscle aches, rash and headache.

CDPH officials are asking everyone to help thwart the insects by:

  • Eliminating standing water that lasts more than four days.
  • Turning over wheelbarrows and plastic wading pools when not in use.
  • Cleaning and chlorinating swimming pools and keeping water from collecting on pool covers.
  • Removing items that may hold water, including buckets, metal cans, plastic containers, old tires, bottles, jars, cups, and saucers placed under flower pots.
  • Ensuring that rain gutters and downspouts are not clogged.
  • Changing the water in birdbaths and pets’ water bowls every three to four days.
  • Keeping grass and bushes trimmed, and filling in low spots on lawns.
  • Checking to see that all screens on doors and windows are tight-fitting and free of holes and tears.
  • Encouraging neighbors to help eliminate standing water on their properties.

The second important step is to prevent mosquitos from biting:

  • Use mosquito repellent when outdoors.
  • Wear shoes, socks, long pants and long-sleeved shirts when outdoors for long periods of time.
  • Minimize outdoor activities between dusk and dawn.

Chicago’s OEMC will be monitoring conditions throughout the weekend and is coordinating situations with our public safety partners.

Additional emergency preparedness information and tips are available on the Office of Emergency Management and Communications’ website: www.cityofchicago.org/oemc. For timely updates and other information, follow OEMC on Twitter: @ChicagoOEMC and Facebook: @facebook/coemc.