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Beat the Heat: Heat Wave Advisory

A heat wave is a period of abnormally high temperatures, more than the normal maximum temperature that occurs during the peak summer season.

The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has defined a heat wave as:

  • Maximum temperature of at least 40°C or 4°C to 5°C higher than normal in plains (at least 37°C for coastal and at least 30°C for hilly regions)
  • When actual maximum temperature remains 45°C or more irrespective of normal maximum temperature
  • Severe heat wave is declared when temperature of a station is more than 40°C and 6°C higher than normal

The health impacts of Heat Waves typically are dehydration, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and or heat stroke. The following safety measures can be taken to minimize the impact of heat waves:

  • Avoid going out in the sun, especially between 12.00 noon and 3.00 pm
  • Avoid strenuous activities when outside in the afternoon
  • Stay hydrated. Drink sufficient water and as often as possible, even if not thirsty. Consume homemade drinks like lemon water, lassi, buttermilk, fruit juices with some added salt. Eat seasonal fruits and vegetables with high water content like watermelon, muskmelon, pineapple, cucumber etc. Avoid alcohol, tea, coffee and carbonated soft drinks, which dehydrates the body
  • In workplace drink a cup of water every 20 minutes or more frequently to stay hydrated
  • Stay covered. Wear lightweight, light-coloured, loose, and porous cotton clothes. Use protective goggles, umbrella/hat, shoes or chappals while going out in sun
  • While travelling always carry sufficient water with you
  • Stay indoors as much as possible
  • Block direct sunlight and heat waves. Keep windows and curtains closed during the day. Open them up at night to let cooler air in
  • Keep your home cool. Ideal temperature setting for air conditioner is 24-26°C. It is not advisable to adopt sudden or frequent temperature changes while moving from places
  • Use fans, damp clothing and take bath in cold water frequently
  • Do not leave children or pets in parked vehicles
  • Elderly or sick people living alone should be supervised and health monitored
  • Listen to radio, watch TV, read newspaper for local weather forecast and updates
  • If you feel faint or ill, see a doctor immediately
  • In the event of emergencies can utilize toll-free number 1077 to access state healthcare services