|With dangerously low temperatures and wind-chills expected tomorrow, Health Commissioner Mary O’Dowd is urging residents to be sure to prepare for the extreme weather.
“Dress in layers, have an emergency kit in your home and car, don’t over-exert yourself when shoveling snow and make sure to check on elderly neighbors and relatives,” said O’Dowd. “Exposure to extreme cold, for even short periods, can have major health consequences.”
During extreme inclement weather, it also is important to check on seniors and people with disabilities. “Frigid temperatures and snowstorms may prevent or delay caregivers from getting to their client or family member, right away,” said Department of Human Services Commissioner Jennifer Velez. “It’s important to have one or two backup plans in place to ensure that any health or prescription needs are met during a weather event.”
The following is a list of tips to stay safe, healthy and warm:
It’s best to stay inside, but those who need to be outside should dress warmly to avoid Hypothermia and Frostbite. Hypothermia is a drop of normal body temperature from 98.6 degrees to 95 or lower that requires emergency medical care. It can be especially dangerous for the very young and older adults and individuals with chronic medical conditions. Symptoms include shivering, slurred speech, irrational behavior, weakened pulse, shortness of breath and unconsciousness.
In case of a power outage, make arrangements to move to a heated location. Senior centers and libraries are typically used by municipalities as heating centers. Residents should contact their municipality or county for information on heating centers in their area. You should also call your utility to determine repair schedules.
Turn off or unplug lights and appliances to prevent a circuit overload when power is restored, turn on the faucets slightly to prevent pipes from freezing, and use only safe sources of alternate heat, such as a fireplace or small well-vented wood or coal stove or portable space heater. Remember to always follow manufacturer’s guidelines. For more information, please visit: http://ready.nj.gov/plan/winter-home.html
The New Jersey Office of Emergency Management (NJOEM) works closely with the National Weather Service and the National Hurricane Center regarding storm predictions and forecasts. The NJOEM website contains links to the County OEM social media pages and alerting systems. Online resources for weather information include:
Flu activity is picking up in much of the country, with activity already very high in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas. Further increases across the country are expected in the coming weeks, which includes New Jersey.
Seasonal flu is responsible for severe illness and death every year, but who is most affected each season can vary depending on the predominant circulating virus. So far this season, the 2009 H1N1 viruses have been most common. CDC has already received several reports of severe flu illness among young and middle-aged adults, many of whom were infected with the 2009 H1N1 virus.
Vaccination is your best protection against seasonal flu. It is not too late to get a flu vaccine and there is available supply. Remember also to cover coughs and sneezes, wash hands frequently and thoroughly, and, if you are sick, please stay home.
For more information of seasonal flu, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: http://www.cdc.gov/flu