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Wednesday marks Heat Awareness Day in Wisconsin

WISCONSIN-- Governor Tony Evers has declared Wednesday, June 3 as Heat Awareness Day in Wisconsin.

June is when hotter temperatures start to move in, with July and August being the hottest months of the year.

Preliminary numbers from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services indicated that five people died from heat-related causes in 2019.

In the past five years, 17 people have died and thousands became ill or even hospitalized from heat-related illnesses.

Data from 1982-2019 indicated there have been no heat-related deaths in our Wisconsin counties.

“While the warmer weather is great for spending time outdoors, the heat can turn dangerous quickly if you’re not ready,” Wisconsin Emergency Management Administrator Dr. Darrell L. Williams said.

“That’s why it is so important for everyone to be able to recognize the signs of heat-related illness and what they can do to remain safe when temperatures climb,” Dr. Williams added.

Those most vulnerable to the heat include:

  • Elderly residents
  • Young children
  • Those with heart disease or high blood pressure

Those who may be overweight or on certain medications could be susceptible to heat-related illnesses as well during extreme heat.

With the COVID-19 pandemic ongoing, it's importatnt to check on those who are socially isolated to make sure they remain safe.

Here's some things to keep in mind when high temperatures are in the forecast:

  • DRINK PLENTY OF WATER! This is one of the biggest things to do no matter what time of the year, but especially during hot, Summer days as the water needs the water to keep yourself cool.
  • Take breaks and spend more time in the shade or in an air-conditioned environment.
  • NEVER leave children or pets inside vehicles
  • If you must be outside, be sure to wear sunscreen and wear lightweight, light-colored and loose fitting clothing, as these reflect the heat and sunlight
  • Limit your outdoor activities during the hottest part of the day. It's recommended that you perform an outdoor or strenuous activities during the early morning or at night when the temperature are cooler.
  • Always check on children, the pets and elderly, as they can be most susceptible to the heat.
  • Be aware for signs of heat-related illnesses and seek medical attention if symptoms don't improve or worsen.
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine, along with eating hot and heavy meals
  • Taking a cool shower or bath with help cool you down. Applying cold, wet rags to the neck, head and limbs will also cool down the body quicker


  • HEAT OUTLOOK: Issued for the potential for an extreme heat event within the next seven days. Be sure to have a plan in place.
  • EXCESSIVE HEAT WATCH: Conditions are favorable for an excessive heat event to take place within a 24 to 72-hour period, which gives people enough time to prepare if need be. A watch is issued within a 12 to 48-hour period before Excessive Heat Warning conditions are in the forecast.
  • HEAT ADVISORY: Issued 6 to 36 hours in advance. An advisory would be issued if daytime heat index values are expected to be at least 100 degrees. An advisory could also be issued if heat index values of 95 to 99 degrees are in the forecast for four or more consecutive days.
  • EXCESSIVE HEAT WARNING: Issued 6 to 36 hours in advance. A warning would be issued if there's a 24 to 48-hour period where heat index values are expected to be at least 105 degrees and nighttime temperatures remain above 75 degrees. A warning could also be issued if heat index values of 100 to 104 degrees are in the forecast for four or more consecutive days.


  • HEAT EXHAUSTION: Symptoms include heavy sweating, weakness, weak pulse, fainting, vomiting and cold, pale, clammy skin. If someone is experiencing heat exhaustion, move to a cooler location, loosen your clothes and lie down, sip some water and apply cool, wet cloths to as much of your body as possible. Seek medical attention if you have vomited and it continues.
  • HEAT STROKE: Symptoms include body temperature of 103 degrees or higher, throbbing headache, rapid and strong pulse, possibly losing consciousness and skin is hot, red, dry or moist. If someone is experiencing heat stroke, call 911 IMMEDIATELY! Along with calling 911, move the person to a cooler environment, reduce the person's body temperature with cool cloths or a cool bath and don't give them fluids.

For additional information and resources, you can click here (ReadyWisconsin), here (Wisconsin Department of Health Services) or here (Centers for Disease Control).

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Austin Haskins

Meteorologist/Web Producer

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