News Releases

Corps stresses hot weather safety

Published Aug. 2, 2017
PORTLAND, Ore. – Play it safe while enjoying outdoor recreation opportunities, particularly during periods of extraordinarily hot weather. 

According to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Portland District, extremely hot weather, like the record-breaking temperatures currently forecasted for some parts of Oregon, can be dangerous. Find National Weather Service forecasts and heat advisories for your area online at Do not needlessly put yourself at risk: know the symptoms of heat illnesses and practice prevention tips recommended by the Center for Disease Control 

Heat illnesses should be taken seriously and can be fatal in extreme cases. If you or anyone you’re with show signs of heat illness, immediately relocate to a cooler environment and get medical help.

Preventing heat illness

Drink plenty of fluids even if you don’t feel thirsty.
Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing and sunscreen.
Do not leave children or pets in cars.
Schedule outdoor activities carefully and pace yourself.
Take regular breaks from direct sun exposure in the shade or an air-conditioned, indoor location.
Take cool showers or baths to cool down.
Check the local news for health and safety updates.

Heat illness symptoms

Heat Exhaustion
Heavy sweating
Cold, pale, and clammy skin
Fast, weak pulse
Nausea or vomiting

Heat Stroke
High body temperature (above 103°F)
Hot, red, dry or moist skin
Rapid and strong pulse
Possible unconsciousness

Water Safety

As the nation's largest federal provider of water-based recreation, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers stresses water safety and urges extra caution while in or around water. Following these water-fun safety tips can help you have a great time out at the rivers and return home safely.

Before you head out for a day around water, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reminds you and everyone in your group to wear a life jacket.

Swimming in open water is different and more difficult than in a swimming pool. You can tire more quickly and get into trouble due to changing conditions, waves, current, lack of experience, or exhaustion. Don't rely on inner tubes or water toys to keep you afloat. Know your limits. Each year many people drown by overestimating their swimming skills and swimming beyond their limits.

While on or near the water, watch out for each other at all times. Most who drowned never intended to enter the water; they unexpectedly fell from a boat or dock. Falling into cold water triggers an involuntary gasp response, which causes you to breathe in water whether you want to or not. Breathing in a half-cup of water is enough to cause drowning. 

Even during hot weather, beware of cold water temperatures. Hypothermia occurs when the body loses heat faster than it can produce it. This can happen in any season, and in any weather.

Avoid prolonged breath holding activities and games because it can lead to shallow water blackout. Shallow water blackout can affect anyone who is breath-holding, even physically fit swimmers.

Don't drink and boat. About half of adolescent and adult deaths associated with water recreation involve alcohol use.  This is about one in five reported boating fatalities. Just one beer might impair your balance, vision, judgment and reaction time, thus making you a potential danger to yourself and others. Don't include alcohol in your outing if you are planning to have fun in, on, or near the water.

For more information on these and other water-safety tips please visit the Corps' water safety website at

Portland District recreation
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Portland District manages 18 lakes and reservoirs and offers recreation at 135 parks on the water within the state of Oregon. More than 10 million people visit our locations annually to experience the diverse range of outdoor activities we offer to people of all ages. For more information on Portland District’s recreation opportunities, visit

Sarah P. Bennett

Release no. 17-026

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