Summer is a time for fun in the sun. Whether its the beaches of the Jersey shore or the mountain trails of Sussex county, being ready for extreme heat while enjoying the summer sun can be the difference that keeps you and your family safe.
Thanks to our friends and Ready.gov this information explains what actions you can take when the weather is extremely hot and how to understand heat alerts from the National Weather Service.
Heat kills by pushing the human body beyond its limits. In extreme heat and high humidity, evaporation is slowed and the body must work extra hard to maintain a normal temperature.
Communication and Information is key......
Keep a list of contact information for reference. Contacts should include:
- Local Emergency Management Office
- County Law Enforcement
- County Public Safety Fire/Rescue
- State, County and City/Town Government
- Local Hospitals
- Local Utilities
- Local American Red Cross
- Local TV Stations
- Local Radio Stations
- Your Property Insurance Agent
Learn what protective measures to take before, during, and after an emergency
MYTH: I DON’T NEED TO WORRY ABOUT DISASTERS WHERE I LIVE.
Emergency preparedness is not only for those that live in more disaster prone area like California, the Midwest or the Gulf Coast.
Most communities may be impacted by several types of hazards during a lifetime.
Americans are also traveling more than ever before to areas that may have a higher risk of disaster than at home. Knowing what to do before, during and after an emergency is a critical part of being prepared and may make all the difference when seconds count.
Information provided as part of Be Ready. Montclair can help you to learn about potential emergencies that can happen and how to prepare for and respond to them.
Launched in May 2014, Be Ready. Montclair is a local public service campaign designed to educate residents and business owners in the Montclair area on how to prepare for and respond to emergencies including natural and man-made disasters.
The goal of the campaign is to get the public involved and ultimately to increase the level of basic preparedness in our area.
It is the overall goal of Montclair Ambulance Unit to offer preparedness planning and assistance to every aspect of our community to help reduce the possibility of catastrophic loss as a result of natural or man-made disasters.
This site will include seasonal preparedness information such as dealing with cold weather emergencies during the winter months and heat related emergencies during the summer. There will also be important links to local, state and federal agencies for further information on how to prepare for emergencies.
Safety Tips If You Have To Go Outside
- Avoid strenuous work during the warmest part of the day. Use a buddy system when working in extreme heat, and take frequent breaks.
- Dress in loose-fitting, lightweight, and light-colored clothes that cover as much skin as possible. Avoid dark colors because they absorb the sun’s rays.
- Protect face and head by wearing sunblock and a wide-brimmed hat.
- Postpone outdoor games and activities.
- Eat well-balanced, light, and regular meals. Avoid using salt tablets unless directed to do so by a physician.
- Limit intake of alcoholic beverages.
- Avoid extreme temperature changes.
- Consider spending the warmest part of the day in public buildings such as libraries, schools, movie theaters, shopping malls, and other community facilities.
Familiarize yourself with these terms to help identify an extreme heat hazard:
- Heat Wave - Prolonged period of excessive heat, often combined with excessive humidity.
- Heat Index - A number in degrees Fahrenheit (F) that tells how hot it feels when relative humidity is added to the air temperature. Exposure to full sunshine can increase the heat index by 15 degrees.
- Heat Cramps - Muscular pains and spasms due to heavy exertion. Although heat cramps are the least severe, they are often the first signal that the body is having trouble with the heat.
- Heat Exhaustion - Typically occurs when people exercise heavily or work in a hot, humid place where body fluids are lost through heavy sweating. Blood flow to the skin increases, causing blood flow to decrease to the vital organs. This results in a form of mild shock. If not treated, the victim's condition will worsen. Body temperature will keep rising and the victim may suffer heat stroke.
- Heat Stroke - A life-threatening condition. The victim's temperature control system, which produces sweating to cool the body, stops working. The body temperature can rise so high that brain damage and death may result if the body is not cooled quickly.
- Sun Stroke - Another term for heat stroke.
- Excessive Heat Watch - Conditions are favorable for an excessive heat event to meet or exceed local Excessive Heat Warning criteria in the next 24 to 72 hours.
- Excessive Heat Warning - Heat Index values are forecast to meet or exceed locally defined warning criteria for at least 2 days (daytime highs=105-110° Fahrenheit).
- Heat Advisory - Heat Index values are forecast to meet locally defined advisory criteria for 1 to 2 days (daytime highs=100-105° Fahrenheit).
BASIC PROTECTIVE MEASURES FOR ALL HAZARDS
Some basic protective actions are similar across many different hazards:
- Physical safety is a concern for all hazards and may involve sheltering or evacuating.
- Develop a family communications plan
- Make an emergency supply kit to be prepared for any type of disaster.
- Learn about receiving emergency alerts and local emergency plans for shelter and evacuation, local emergency contacts, and local advance alerts and warnings.
- When recovering from a disaster, safety as well as mental and physical well-being must be considered.