Recommendations during a heat wave

What to do if a heatwave is forecast

It is reasonably easy to forecast a heatwave, so when temperatures are rising or there is high humidity, you should keep an eye on the weather forecasts and information in the media. Find out from your local pharmacy or doctor what is recommended for dealing with the adverse effects of heat.

In addition, the following precautionary measures should be taken:

  • Have sufficient water available.
  • Find out about the possible adverse effects of heat stress.
  • Allow air to circulate through your home or other buildings before the hot part of the day, i.e. early in the morning.
  • Pay attention to push notifications on the MeteoSchweiz app.

What to do during a heatwave

Excessive heat can have an adverse effect on your health, and can sometimes reduce your mental and physical abilities.

How well you cope with heat depends partly on your physical condition at the time. If you have a cold or a chronic illness, for example, this will significantly reduce your tolerance to heat. Pregnant women, small children, older people and those who are ill are more sensitive to high temperatures. Typical heat-related symptoms include dizziness, headache, exhaustion, and nausea.

General advice in the event of a heatwave:

  • Protect yourself from direct sunlight (stay in the shade, wear suitable clothing, a hat, sunglasses and sun cream). Restrict outdoor activities to the morning and evening.
  • Avoid vigorous physical activity.
  • Drink liquids regularly and in sufficient quantities (at least 1.5 litres a day).
  • Keep yourself and your home as cool as possible.
  • Compensate for salt loss during or after sporting activities.
  • Eat fresh, cool and light meals
  • Make the most of the lower night-time temperatures: allow plenty of outside air to circulate through buildings.
  • Keep up to date with the latest weather reports via the media.
  • Pay attention to the push notifications from the MeteoSchweiz app.
  • Always follow official recommendations.

What to do after a heatwave

A heatwave can leave damage in its wake and has a visible detrimental effect on the landscape (dried-up ground, cracks in the earth, damage to crops etc.). Severe heatwaves can also cause fatalities, as was the case in 2003.

After a heatwave, you should take extra care of yourself and not try to do any vigorous sporting activities. The body needs time to readjust.

Find out from your local pharmacist or doctor what precautionary measures can be taken to be well prepared for the next heatwave.

After a heatwave, the potential for forest fires still exists.

Further information