News Release
City Services

June 18, 2012

Chicago Hot Weather Preparedness and Public Safety Precautions

Delores Robinson
OEMC News Affairs
312-746-9454

OEMC

Chicago Hot Weather Preparedness and Public Safety Precautions

 Summer Temperatures May Rise Above 90 Degrees For Several Days This Week

 CHICAGO – The City of Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications reminds residents and visitors of Chicago to take summer weather precautions for the next few days as the National Weather Service has forecast temperatures this week to rise above 90 degrees for several days.

“Each summer the City of Chicago continues to advise the public of the dangers of extreme hot temperatures and its’ impact on our families, pets, lifestyle and activities. Taking the necessary precautions can prevent heat-related emergencies and lead to a summer filled with fun and activities,” said Gary W. Schenkel, OEMC Executive Director.

With hot temperatures expected for the upcoming week, OEMC reminds the public to be aware of the signs and symptoms of heat-related conditions such as heat stroke and heat exhaustion.

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 exhaustion or heat stroke, take immediate action. Call 911 immediately and then try to safely move the person into a cool place and cool the person with water.

Steps can also be taken to reduce the risk of heat exhaustion and heat stroke:

  •  Drink plenty of water, at least eight glasses a day to avoid dehydration;
  •  Ensure that children stay well hydrated;
  •  Visit one of the City’s temporary cooling centers: Chicago police district headquarters; all 79 Chicago Public Library locations during public hours of operation; and other public buildings;
  •  Call 3-1-1 for the nearest City Cooling Center located within the six Community Service Centers operated by the Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS). The centers are open 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays; and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Wednesdays.
  •  Contact local Chicago Park District facilities to find out about beach and park hours and programs.
  •  Sign up for extreme weather alerts by visiting www.AlertChicago.com and clicking on the Notify Chicago 

OEMC Weather Press Conference

Beaches and public parks and pools make excellent places to cool off, but open fire hydrants do not.

The City urges Chicagoans to be good neighbors and check on the disabled and elderly who may not understand the effects of extreme heat, or call 3-1-1 to request well-being checks and rides to cooling centers.

The City’s Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) will use their home care services, such as Home Delivered Meals and Case Management, to check on seniors and inquire about their well-being. DFSS has also notified its Well-Being Task Force which includes nearly 70 public agencies and private businesses to be on alert during this dangerous weather and report any senior or vulnerable person who is at risk from the heat.

Additionally, as warm weather encourages outdoor activities, the Department of Buildings is reminding residents to use porches safely and visually inspect porches, balconies, decks and stairs for any needed repairs. If any problems are identified, stop using the porch, balcony, deck or stair immediately. Property owners need to make repairs, as they are required by law to maintain properties in a safe condition. Residents are encouraged to call 311 to report deteriorated porches to the Department of Buildings. A guide that contains detailed drawings, descriptions, checklists and standards to help property owners maintain and repair existing porches, titled "Porch Design and Construction Guidelines” is available online at www.cityofchicago.org/buildings.

Additional resources are available through ComEd. For assistance paying household utility bills, residents are reminded to contact Com Ed at call 888-806-CARE.

Chicagoans should also take steps to ensure the safety and comfort of pets during extreme weather conditions. Pet owners should plan for when they are away from home for extended hours during extreme weather conditions to make sure that their pets have the proper resources.

During periods of extreme heat, the National Weather Service (NWS) may issue a Heat Advisory, Heat Watch or Heat Warning.

  • A Heat Advisory is when the Heat Index is forecast to reach 105 degrees or greater in the next 6 to 18 hours.
  • A Heat Watch is issued when the Heat Index is forecast to be 100 to 105 degrees Fahrenheit for consecutive days.
  • The Heat Warning is issued when any of the following conditions are forecast to occur in the near future:                      
  •         3 consecutive days with the Heat Index 100-104 degrees
  •          2 consecutive days with the Heat Index at 105-109 degrees
  •          A single day with the Heat Index at 110 degrees or higher.

The OEMC will continue to work closely with the National Weather Service to monitor weather conditions in Chicago. At this time, OEMC has not activated the City’s Extreme Weather Operations Plan or opened the Emergency Operations Center, but both will be activated if it becomes necessary.

The public can also obtain more information about extreme weather preparedness by visiting www.alertchicago.org. OEMC encourages the public to sign up to receive weather alert notifications via text, voicemail or email at www.notifychicago.org. Notify Chicago a free service provided by the City of Chicago and administered by the Office of Emergency Management and Communications.

 

OEMC Weather Press Conference

 The Chicago Office of Emergency Management was established in 1995 to coordinate the City’s delivery of Police, Fire and Emergency Medical Services resources. OEMC operates Chicago’s public safety communications system, managing emergency situations and coordinating major events, 311 and 911 Communications Operations. For more information visit our website at www.cityofchicago.org/oemc or “like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/coemc