We’re coming off two of the hottest summers ever, and scientists are warning that 2023 could be the hottest year on record.

Over 100 million Americans are under excessive heat warnings or advisories, as people in the West and Southwest especially are experiencing record-breaking temperatures.

Extreme heat is one of the deadliest consequences of the climate crisis, and as the temperature creeps up so too does the risk it poses to us all.

Here are some tips for keeping cool during extreme heat waves:

Stay hydrated. It may seem overly simple, but it’s crucial: Make sure you are drinking enough water and liquids on hot days (and all days!). Don’t just drink when you are thirsty. 

Limit outside time. Run errands in the mornings or evenings when it’s a little cooler. Put on some sunscreen. Opt for wearing loose clothing with light fabrics and colors. Try to spend as much time in the shade as possible when you’re outside. Park your car in the shade or use a covering to shield the sun.

Air conditioning. Use AC when necessary (though keep in mind the increased energy use and risk of blackouts). If your home doesn’t have air conditioning, consider spending part of your day somewhere that does, whether it’s a friend’s home, shopping mall, library, or cooling center. Check here to find a cooling center near you.

Home installations. If you are able to, install any of the following measures in your own home: insulation, double-paned windows, window shading, air sealing, cool roofs, or rooftop solar panels.

Check up on others. Check on your friends, family, and neighbors, especially children and those who are older or have medical conditions exacerbated by the heat.

Do NOTs. Don’t leave people or pets in the car, at all; don’t engage in strenuous physical activities outside in the high heat (it’s not worth it, go when it’s cooler in the morning or evening); don’t overdo eating hot, heavy meals.

The California Environmental Voters Education Fund exists to radically advance climate policy and legislation by promoting greater civic participation, shifting public opinion, and educating the public and legislators. We fight for equity and justice for all Californians, from voting rights to clean air and water.