Summers in the Pacific Northwest are usually very comfortable. But when temperatures rise to dangerous levels for several days at a time, there is an increased health risk to people and pets, and fire risk to property.
Common heat-related illnesses are heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Signs of heat exhaustion include heavy sweating; weakness; cold, pale, and clammy skin; weak pulse; fainting; and vomiting. Signs of heat stroke include high body temperature (103° F or higher); hot, dry skin; rapid and strong pulse; and possible unconsciousness. Learn how to treat these symptoms and when to call 9-1-1.
Individuals who are at a higher risk of a heat-related illness include:
- Older adults
- Infants and young children
- People with mental illness and chronic diseases
- People with disabilities
- People who are overweight
- Those who work or exercise outdoors
- People experiencing homelessness
- Users of some medications, especially those taken for mental disorders, movement disorders, allergies, depression, and heart or circulatory problems
Be informed and stay safe
Use caution around open water
Please use caution in and around open water. Many waterbodies are quite cold, and that can sap even strong swimmers’ strength in a matter of minutes. Low flows can also expose previously submerged rocks and branches that pose dangers to river users. Wear a personal flotation device, avoid alcohol, and don’t forget the sunscreen. Learn more about water safety and drowning prevention. Take American Red Cross' Summer Swim Safety Quiz.
Prepare for wildfire danger
Even in temperate western Washington it can take only a few sunny days for forests to dry out enough to catch fire. And, in windy conditions wildfires can get out of control quickly. Wildfires burn every year in east King County. Before wildfire strikes, homeowners can help protect lives and property by creating a fire-adapted space around structures. Get tips for reducing fire risks from Firewise
More ways to stay safe and beat the heat
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