Heat Advisory Precautions

The National Weather Service is forecasting that the heat index could reach above 105 degrees Fahrenheit later this week. Illinois Tech is reminding students, staff, and faculty to take appropriate precautions to avoid heat-related illness.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have provided guidance on preventing such illness, which can be found at this link.

Additionally, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration advises taking the following precautions:

  • Review these heat-related illness signs and symptoms
    • Headache, dizziness, or fainting
    • Weakness and wet skin
    • Irritability or confusion
    • Thirst, nausea, or vomiting
    • Confusion, inability to think clearly, passing out, collapsing, or having seizures
    • May stop sweating
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
  • Drink small amounts of water often (before you become thirsty). A good rule of thumb is to drink about four cups of water every hour when the heat index suggests a moderate risk level. Your goal should be to drink water every 15 minutes.
  • Block out direct sun and other heat sources. Close window coverings; if outside, use something to provide shade, such as an umbrella.
  • Avoid beverages containing alcohol or caffeine.
  • Modify work schedule and arrange frequent rest periods in a cool, shaded, or air-conditioned area.
  • Set up a buddy system, if possible, to enable people to look out for signs and symptoms of heat-related illness in each other. Often, a person will not recognize their own signs and symptoms.
  • Use fans to obtain better air movement.
  • Know that medical services are available. Students may call Public Safety at 312.808.6363 or go to Student Health and Wellness on the third floor of IIT Tower. Faculty and staff may call Public Safety for assistance.
  • Respond to heat-related illness and medical emergencies without delay.

People who show symptoms of heat-related illness need immediate attention. Treating milder symptoms (headache, weakness) early by providing rest in a shaded or air-conditioned area and cool water to drink can prevent a more serious medical emergency. Call Public Safety at 312.808.6363 or 911 immediately if a worker loses consciousness or appears confused or uncoordinated. These are signs of possible heat stroke. Heat stroke is fatal if not treated immediately.

Thank you to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for the information in this article.