HOT WEATHER SAFETY TIPS
TERMS TO KNOW
HEAT WAVE: More than 48 hours of high heat (90 degrees Fahrenheit or higher) and high humidity (80% relative humidity or higher) are expected.
HEAT INDEX: A number in degrees Fahrenheit that tells how hot it really feels when relative humidity is added to the actual air temperature. Exposure to full sunshine can increase the heat index by 15 degrees.
HEAT HEALTH HAZARDS
HEAT CRAMPS: Heat cramps are muscular pains and spasms due to heavy exertion. Signals are abdominal and leg muscle pain. Loss of water and salt from sweating causes cramping. Relief can be firm pressure on cramping muscles, or gentle massages to relieve cramping.
HEAT EXHAUSTION: This condition is less dangerous than heat stroke. It usually occurs when people exercise too heavily or work in warm, humid places where body fluids are lost. Signals include cool, moist, pale or flushed skin; heavy sweating; headache; nausea or vomiting; dizziness and exhaustion. If symptoms occur, get victim out of sun, and apply cool, wet cloths.
HEAT STROKE: Known as sunstroke, which can be life threatening. Body temperature can rise and cause brain damage; death may result if not cooled quickly. Signals include hot, red and dry skin; changes in consciousness; rapid, weak pulse, and shallow breathing. Relief for lowering body temperature can be with a cold bath or sponge.SUNBURN: Redness and pain; in severe cases, swelling of skin, blisters, fever, and headaches. Sunburn hampers heat dissipation. Ointments can be a relief for pain in mild cases. A physician should see serious cases.
Slow down on strenuous activity and exercise. Exercise should be done in the early morning between 4-7a.m.Eat less protein and more fruits and vegetables. Protein produce and increases metabolic heat, which causes water loss.Stay out of the sun and if possible, stay in air-conditioning.Drink at least 2-4 glasses of water per hour during extreme heat.Wear lightweight and light-colored clothing.Eat small meals, but eat more often.Do not leave children in unattended vehicles.Do not eat salty foods. Do not drink alcoholic beverages.
PEOPLE WHO SHOULD BE AWARE:
• Elderly persons and small children are mostly affected.
• Persons with weight or alcohol problems are very susceptible to heat reactions.
• Persons on certain medications or drugs
THUNDERSTORM SAFETY TIPS
TERMS TO KNOW
Severe Thunderstorm Watch
Is issued when severe thunderstorms are possible in and close to the watch area. The watch is issued to alert you to the possibility that thunderstorms with damaging winds and large hail may develop. Listen to NOAA Weather Radio and your local media weather updates and stay informed!Severe Thunderstorm Warning
Is issued when a severe thunderstorm has been spotted and is going to move through your county soon. The key is to remain CALM, but take precautionary action IMMEDIATELY to protect your life and property. ACT NOW TO BE PREPARED!
Know the county in which you live and the names of nearby cities. Severe weather warnings are issued on a county basis.BEFORE THE STORM
Check the weather forecast before leaving for extended periods outdoors.If a storm is approaching, keep a NOAA Weather Radio or AM/FM radio with you.Watch for signs of approaching storms.Postpone outdoor activities if storms are imminent.
Check on neighbors who require special assistance: infants, the elderly, and people with disabilities.
DURING THE STORM
Remember: If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to the storm to be struck by lightning. Go to safe shelter immediately.
• Move to a sturdy building or car. DO NOT take shelter in small sheds, under isolated trees, or in convertible automobiles.
• If lightning occurs and sturdy shelter is not available, get inside a hard top automobile and keep the windows up.
• Get out of boats and away from water.
• Telephone lines and metal pipes can conduct electricity. Unplug appliances not necessary for btaining weather information. Avoid using the telephone or any electrical appliances. Use phones only in an emergency.
• Do not take a bath or shower
• Turn off air conditioners. Power surges from lightning can overload the compressors.
• Get to higher ground if flash flooding or flooding is possible. DO NOT attempt to drive to safety. Most flash flooding deaths occur in automobiles.
AFTER THE STORM
• Check on neighbors who may require special assistance -- infants, the elderly, and people with disabilities.
• Avoid all downed power lines. Assume they are live electricity.
• Continue to monitor NOAA Weather Radio and your local media for latest weather updates.
FIRE SAFETY TIPS
ACT NOW TO BE PREPARED!
• Buy and carefully maintain a quality smoke detector.
• Learn what causes fire.
• Inspect your home to eliminate or control fire hazards.
• Install at least 5-pound A-B-C type fire extinguishers in the home and teach family members how to use them.
• Establish a well-planned escape route with the entire family.
• Hold practice fire drills until all family members are thoroughly familiar with plan.
• If your have an older home, have the wiring checked by a qualified electrician to make sure it meets current building codes.
• Have your chimney and fireplace cleaned and inspected yearly for creosote build-up, cracks, crumbling bricks or mortar and any obstructions.
• Keep storage areas clean and tidy.
• Keep curtains, towels and pot holders away from hot surfaces.
• Store solvents and flammable cleaners away form heat sources. Never keep gasoline in the house.
• Inspect extension cords for frayed or exposed wires or loose plugs.
• Keep an eye on your cooking and stay in the kitchen.
• Wear short or close-fitting sleeves when cooking. Loose clothing can catch fire.
What To Do
Remain CALM, but take IMMEDIATE action.
IF IT IS A HOME OR HIGH-RISE FIRE:
• If you smell smoke or the smoke detector goes off, call the fire department and activate the nearest pull-station at once.
• Before you open the door, feel the door by using the back of your hand.
• If the door is hot or warm, do not open the door.
• If the door is cool, open it just a little to check the hallway. If you see smoke, do not leave.
• If there is no smoke in the hallway, leave and close the door. Go directly to the stairs to leave.
• If you can't escape, use-wet towels or tape to seal the door and any room supply vent.
• If you have a balcony and there is no fire below it, go out.
• If there is fire below, go to the window. Do not open the window, but stay near the window.
• If there is no fire below, go to the window and open it. Stay near the open window.
• Hang a blanket or a towel out of the window to let people know that you are there and need help.
• Be calm and wait for someone to rescue you.
• Never use the elevator.
IF IT IS A COOKING FIRE:
• Call the fire department immediately.
• Slide a pan lid over flames to smother a grease or oil fire, then turn off the heat and leave the lid in place until the pan cools. Never carry the pan outside.
• Extinguish other food fires with baking soda. Never use water or flour on cooking fires.
• Keep the oven door shut and turn off the heat to smother an oven or broiler fire.
What To Do After A Fire
• Do not enter a fire-damaged building unless authorities say it is OK.
• When entering a fire-damaged building, look for signs of heat or smoke.
• Have an electrician check your household wiring before the current is turned back on. Do not attempt to reconnect any utilities yourself. Leave this to the fire department and other authorities.
• Beware of structural damage. Roofs and floors may be weakened and need repair.
• Contact your local disaster relief service, such as the American Red
• Cross or Salvation Army, if you need housing, food, or personal items, which were destroyed in the fire.
• Call your insurance agent. Keep records of all clean up and repair costs.
• Do not throw away any damaged goods until an official inventory has been taken.
• If you are a tenant, contact the landlord.
• Secure personal belongings or move them to another location.