What to Do in the Event of Extreme Heat
In Florida, we can experience extreme temperatures, which can impact our most vulnerable populations, and affect critical support systems, such as the power grid. Extreme heat is defined as temperatures that are approximately 10 degrees or more above the average high temperature for a prolonged period of time.
Review your five steps on your Pathways to Preparedness.
Find alternative housing, if you do not have access to A/C.
Dress appropriately for the weather.
Drink plenty of water.
Postpone outdoor activities.
Listen to public safety officials for information.
Be aware of future weather conditions.
- Never leave children or pets alone in parked vehicles.
- Stay indoors as much as possible, and limit exposure to the sun.
- Extreme heat can trigger power outages or blackouts due to the increase in energy demand.
Every year, most of Brevard County experiences periods in which the air temperature and humidity creates conditions that could potentially harm human health. A “heat island” is when an urban area experiences warmer temperatures than its surrounding rural areas. This is caused by large amounts of concrete absorbing heat from the sun during the day. The heat releases at night keeping temperatures high and allowing little time for cooling. This can lead to increased energy demands and stress at-risk populations, especially those without access to air conditioning. In most cases, extreme heat affects those who do not have the ability to stay inside during extreme heat events.
In Brevard County, extreme heat events can occur throughout County with exacerbated temperatures in cities like Titusville, Cocoa, Rockledge, Melbourne, and Palm Bay with large paved areas. They are most likely to occur in the summer months, and are considered likely to occur in the future; with a 1 in 25 years or less probability of occurrence. High pressure systems associated with heat waves can move into an area within a matter of days. These systems are resistant to being moved by other systems and can affect a region for days, weeks or months. In June of 1998, a deep high pressure ridge persisted across the Gulf of Mexico and Florida throughout most of the June and into early July. It resulted in several long stretches of record breaking high temperatures. Melbourne had 22 days where high temperature records were either tied or broken. Melbourne had four 100 degree or greater days. It was also very dry during this period. Melbourne received only 3% of its normal rainfall. No extreme heat events have been experienced since 1998.