by James Hubbard, MD, MPH

Pop quiz: Do you know how to survive the heat? | The Survival Doctor

 

First question: What natural phenomenon kills more people in the United States than all other disasters combined?

Answer: summer heat waves.

If you have a heatstroke, you have an 80 percent chance of dying unless you get early and aggressive, expert medical treatment. Even then, one out of 10 people dies.

The best way to avoid a heatstroke is … avoid the heat. Simple in normal circumstances. Just monitor the weather, and stay in the air-conditioning on those very hot days.

But what about abnormal circumstances? What if you don’t have air-conditioning or it goes out? Or what if some emergency occurs and you have to get out even on the hottest day? Maybe you have to run, or hike with a backpack, or cut down fallen trees. Do you know how to avoid a heatstroke even in those extreme circumstances?

Take the quiz and find out. (The answers come from my two past posts on how to survive the heat and how to prevent heatstroke.)

One of the many heartbreaking features of heatstrokes is that the vast majority are preventable. So if you enjoy this quiz, why not challenge your friends to beat your score (and educate them in the process)?

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Photo: U.S. Marine Corps/by Lance Cpl. Monica C. Erickson