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What to do if a period of heat is forecast

It is reasonably easy to forecast a period of heat, so when temperatures are rising, 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 MeteoSwiss app.

Click here for information on the potential effects and hazard categories of heat.

What to do during a period of heat

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 heat period:

  • 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).
  • Do not drink any alcohol.
  • Keep yourself and your home as cool as possible.
  • Compensate for salt loss during or after sport 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 MeteoSwiss app.
  • Contact those around you (including neighbours) who fall into the risk category (focus on elderly who live alone and/or people with chronic diseases) and ensure that they are well and able to follow the existing recommendations.
  • Always follow official recommendations.

What to do after a period of heat

A heat period can leave damage in its wake and can have a visible detrimental effect on the landscape (dried-up grounds, cracks in the earth, damage to crops etc.). Severe heatwaves can also cause fatalities, as was the case in 2003 and 2015.

After a heat period, you should take extra care of yourself and try not to achieve top athletic performances. The body needs time to readjust.

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

After a period of heat, the potential for forest fires can persist.