Summer Weather Safety

Summer in Illinois brings new and exciting energy (especially after long winters), but extended exposure to heat and high index values can also come with a number of safety risks. Keep it safe by taking proper precautions, both indoors and outdoors, to help you and your family fully enjoy the summer weather.

Keep Cool Illinois offers the following safety tips:

  • Stay in air-conditioned space at home, the library, the mall, movie theater or at a cooling center.
  • Drink lots of water and natural juices. Avoid alcoholic beverages, coffee and colas.
  • Keep shades drawn and blinds closed, but keep windows slightly open if you do not have air conditioning.
  • Keep electric lights off or turned down.
  • Take cool baths or showers.
  • Wear loose, light cotton clothing.
  • Do not eat heavy meals. Avoid cooking with your oven.
  • Avoid or minimize physical exertion during high temp days.
  • Do not sit in a hot car, even for a short time. Never leave a child alone in the car and especially in a hot vehicle.
  • Check on family members, friends and neighbors to make sure they stay cool and safe.
  • If you or anyone you know needs emergency medical attention, call 911.
  • It is against the law to open a fire hydrant. An open hydrant hinders the fire department’s ability to fight fires, reduces water pressure in your home and may cause basement flooding.

Special Keeping Cool Tips for Seniors

  • During heat emergencies, seniors are urged to contact their local area agencies on Aging or the Senior HelpLine at 800-252-8966 for assistance with locating senior centers, adult day service sites and other buildings that serve as cooling centers.
  • Humidity combined with temperature make up the heat index, which is similar to the wind chill factor in winter. If the temperature is in the 90s with high humidity, it can feel like it is well over 100 degrees.

Keeping Cool Tips for Your Pets

  • Provide water and shelter from the sun at all times.
  • Restrict activity during extreme heat.
  • Never leave pets in parked vehicles. Even moderate heat rapidly increases and can kill the pet quickly.

Needing relief from the heat? The following “cooling centers” are available to you in the C-U area:

  • Department of Human Services, 206 W. Anthony Drive, Champaign
  • Social Security Administration, 101 S. Country Fair Drive, Champaign
  • Champaign County Public Health District, 201 W. Kenyon Road, Champaign
  • Champaign Public Library, 200 W. Green St., Champaign
  • Urbana Free Library, 210 W. Green St., Urbana
  •  Market Place Mall, 2000 N. Neil St., Champaign
  • Lincoln Square Mall, 201 Lincoln Square, Urbana
  • Hospital Emergency Rooms
  • Convenient Care Offices


For more on summer safety: