Is Extreme Heat a New Deadly Threat?

We are currently in the grip of a terrible heat wave in the western states.  Death Valley, California almost beat it’s previous record of a 130, with a National Weather Service Thermometer recording 129.9.   The highest temperature ever recorded on Planet Earth is 132.

Despite all the news coverage of hurricanes, homes torn apart by tornadoes, and tropical storms, the deaths from excessive heat kill more people annually than almost all the other natural disasters (except for tsumanis and 7.0 and above earthquakes).

Deaths from excessive heat include both cardiac arrest and breathing issues.  “Heat-related illnesses and deaths are preventable. Taking steps to stay cool, hydrated and informed in extreme temperatures can prevent serious health effects like heat exhaustion and heat stroke,” said lead author Ethel Taylor, a researcher who works with the CDC.

Because extended heat waves put a strain on electrical loads and may trigger power outages, it is important for companies to have a Plan for Extended Extreme Heat.
Plan for a situation without electricity for 3 or more days.

Having just survived a week in south Florida without AC, and growing in Los Angeles, also
without air conditioning, here are a few tips to stay cool:

1.  Stay wet to facilitate evaporate cooling.  Wear a wet T-shirt and keep your clothes

2.  Make sure pets are ALWAYS in a shady place and give them plenty of cool water.

3.   Buy ice and use it to rub on children’s arms and legs to keep them cool.

4.   Use fans and swamp coolers if electricity is available.  Coleman makes fans that
run on batteries if electricity goes out during a heat wave.

5.   Wake up earlier and use the cooler morning hours for outside tasks and stay
indoors during the heat of the day.

And, if it’s blistering hot where you are — DO NOT USE FIREWORKS.  Areas that
are already dry, including shake roofs, will burn more easily under such extreme heat!

AND wherever you are, STAY COOL.

This entry was posted in disaster recovery planning, Extreme Heat, Natural Disasters, Risk, RiskAlert, Threat Assessment, Threat Sources, Threats and tagged , , , , , , by Caroline Ramsey-Hamilton. Bookmark the permalink.

About Caroline Ramsey-Hamilton

Caroline Ramsey-Hamilton is a leading expert in assessing security risk in both information security and facilities security including security risk assessments, active shooter and security risk assessments for hospitals and healthcare organizations, cybersecurity, nuclear security, and also auditing, analyzing and measuring compliance with all major security standards, like DHS, FEMA 426-428, The Joint Commission, HIPAA Security & Privacy Rules, the HIPAA Omnibus Rule, and OSHA 3148 for Preventing Workplace Violence. And including both C-TPAT and CFATS. She is currently working on a universal set of easy security tools that will make it easy to assess risk in a variety of companies, agencies and business. Her company, Risk & Security LLC, works with more than 500 clients around the world using a program that standardizes site surveys and assessments and makes it easier to compare facilities and measure their level of security. She posts breaking security & risk alerts at She's also an animal lover and tree hugger, and musician who loves dogs, horses, kitties, house rabbits, parrots, and especially beagles! I support and other animal rescue organizations and work toward a more peaceful and green world.

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