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Here is a quiz for you weather buffs out there: Which weather event has been responsible for the most deaths in recent years?

  • Hurricanes
  • Floods
  • Tornados
  • Blizzards
  • Heat waves

If you said “heat wave” you were right. Excessive heat, often combined with high humidity and stretched out over a number of days and even weeks in some regions, is responsible for about 1,300 deaths a year nationwide, and that number is expected to rise, according to the Centers for Disease Control. However, the report also went on to say that heat exhaustion casualties could be minimized through a program of prevention and outreach.

The American Red Cross is a valuable prevention partner for individuals and families looking to prepare for the summer heat waves ahead by offering a variety of safety tips and by linking readers to the kind of information and aid they will need to beat the summer heat.

Do You Know the Difference?

Excessive Heat Watch: Conditions are favorable for an excessive heat event to meet or exceed local Excessive Heat Warning criteria in the next 24 to 72 hours

Excessive Heat Warning:
Heat Index values are forecasted to meet or exceed locally defined warning criteria for at least 2 days (daytime highs: 105-115 degrees Fahrenheit)

Heat Advisory:
Heat Index values are forcasted to meet locally defined advisory criteria for 1-to-2 days (daytime highs: 100-105 degrees Fahrenheit)

For more ways to prevent and prepare for heat waves, please visit our Heat Wave Safety Checklist page.