Earthgauge Kids Corner

Extreme Heat: Under the Radar

When you hear “severe weather,” you might first think of hurricanes, tornadoes, thunderstorms or floods. One type of severe weather that may not spring into your mind right away but can be very dangerous is extreme heat. Heat is one of the leading weather-related killers in the United States. According to the National Weather Service, a heat wave is “a period of abnormally and uncomfortably hot and unusually humid weather. Typically a heat wave lasts two or more days.”


During a heat wave, it is important to stay hydrated, limit time outdoors, dress in loose clothing and wear protection over your head and face. It is also important to pay attention to the signs that may lead to heat-related illnesses. Some symptoms to look out for are:

-Heavy sweating

-Muscle cramps


-Cool, pale, clammy skin




-Rapid pulse

-Throbbing headache

If you experience any of these symptoms, move to a cooler place and ask an adult for help. Rest and sip water (use a water mister on your body if you feel nauseous from drinking water).

Photo courtesy of CDC/Amanda Mills

did you know

Learn important facts about extreme summer weather!

  • Do you know the difference between a severe weather watch, and a severe weather warning? Learn what these labels mean so you can be prepared for whatever weather comes your way!
    • Severe weather watch: Be prepared! Whether it’s a thunderstorm or flash flood, a watch means that all of the ingredients are there for an inclement weather event to occur sometime in the next one to three days, and meteorologists are watching closely to see what happens. You should be sure you know where your family keeps its emergency kit, and that you all have a plan for how to stay safe.
    • Severe weather warning: Take action! This alert is issued when meteorologists believe that an extreme weather event is very likely to occur, or when there is extreme weather already occurring or just about to start. Things can be pretty dangerous outside when these alerts are issued, so make sure your family is gathered together inside someplace safe, preferably in a room with as few windows as possible.
  • If you and your family need somewhere safe to go in dangerous weather, text SHELTER and your zip code to 43362. For example, if you lived in Washington, D.C. you would text SHELTER 20008 to 43362 for information about where to go.
  • According to the EPA, the average family of four uses 400 gallons of water per day in and around their home, the majority of which is used inside the bathroom! Keep this in mind next time you brush your teeth or take a shower—every drop counts, especially in a drought!





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