VCU Alert

On-campus emergency: 828-1234
Off-campus emergency: 911

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Current advisory

Excessive heat alert issued for Richmond, VA

7/15/2019 12:40 pm

The National Weather Service - Wakefield has issued an excessive heat index alert for the Richmond area. Hot and humid weather is expected from Tuesday, July 16 through the weekend. The heat is expected to peak Friday and Saturday.

Overview: Hot and humid weather is expected Tuesday through Thursday; excessive heat and humidity is expected Friday and Saturday with widespread high temperatures in the upper 90s to around 100 and heat indices of 105 to 110. The probability for thunderstorms will remain low each day from Wednesday through Sunday and be primarily in the afternoon and early evening.

Map of projected heat indices in the Richmond region for Friday, July 18, 2019. Source: National Weather Service – Wakefield. [View Image] Map of projected heat indices in the Richmond region for Saturday, July 19, 2019. Source: National Weather Service – Wakefield. [View Image]

Captions: Maps of projected heat indices in the Richmond region for Friday, July 18 and Saturday, July 19, 2019. Source: National Weather Service – Wakefield.

If you are exposed to high temperatures and humidity take precautions to avoid heat related illnesses. Please call 9-1-1 or VCU Police at (804) 828-1234 or seek medical attention if you, or someone you know, becomes ill.

Below are tips to help manage the effects of excessive heat:

  • Slow down, and avoid strenuous activity.
  • Wear lightweight, loose-fitting, light-colored clothing. Light colors will reflect heat and sunlight and help maintain normal body temperature. Protect your face with a wide-brimmed hat.
  • Drink plenty of water regularly and often, even if you do not feel thirsty.
  • Limit intake of alcoholic beverages. They can actually dehydrate your body.
  • Eat well-balanced, light, regular meals.
  • Stay indoors as much as possible.
  • If you do not have air conditioning, stay on your lowest floor, out of the sun. Electric fans do not cool the air, but they do help evaporate sweat, which cools your body.
  • Go to a place where you can get relief from the heat, such as air-conditioned schools, libraries, theaters, shopping malls, and other community facilities that may offer refuge during the warmest times of the day.
  • Cover windows that get morning or afternoon sun with drapes, shades, awnings or louvers. Outdoor awnings or louvers can reduce the heat that enters a home by up to 80 percent
  • Avoid too much sunshine. Sunburn slows the skin’s ability to cool itself. If you are outside, use sunscreen with a high SPF (Sun Protection Factor) rating.
  • Never leave children or pets alone in a closed vehicle.
  • Do not leave pets outside for extended periods. Make sure pets have plenty of drinking water.
  • Check on family, friends, and neighbors regularly.
  • Find places in your community where you can go to get cool.

Heat-related illnesses include:

  • Heat Cramps: Heat cramps are muscle pains or spasms-usually in the abdomen, arms, or legs-that may occur in association with strenuous activity. Heat cramps may also be a symptom of heat exhaustion. If you have heart problems or are on a low-sodium diet, seek medical attention for heat cramps.
  • Heat Exhaustion: Heat exhaustion is a milder form of heart-related illness that can develop after several days of exposure to high temperatures and inadequate or unbalanced replacement of fluids. Elderly people and those with high blood pressure, and those working or exercising in a hot environment are most prone to heat exhaustion.
  • Heat stroke: Heat stroke is the most serious-heart related illness. It occurs when the body becomes unable to control its temperature: the body’s temperature rises rapidly, the sweating mechanism fails, and the body is unable to cool down. Body temperature may rise to 106 degrees or higher within 10 to 15 minutes. Heat stroke can cause death or permanent disability if emergency treatment is not provided.

(Information sources: National Weather Service – Wakefield, VA, and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management.)


It is essential to be prepared for emergency situations and to be cognizant of ways to prevent crime and avoid dangerous situations.

The Virginia Commonwealth University Police Department would like to remind students, in particular, to keep personal safety in mind. There are certain things you need to be aware of as residents of an urban environment, as crimes may occur in our community.

The best defense is to be prepared and to take responsibility for your own safety and for that of your friends and fellow students. Be aware of your surroundings at all times, walk with a friend and make use of RamSafe, VCU’s security escort service. For additional safety tips from the VCU Police, please see and follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to read VCU’s Annual Security and Fire Safety Report Get Adobe Reader [View Image]
and to share this information with other members of the community.

VCU is dedicated to promoting a safe and secure environment for learning, living, working or visiting.

Current status

VCU and the VCU Medical Center are operating on a regular academic and work schedule.

Emergency numbers

On-campus emergency

(804) 828-1234

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