Summer Is Here June 21, 2013

Summer is here and that means it’s a good time to go outside and enjoy the weather. Whether you are relaxing in the backyard, turning up your garden, hitting the pool, lake or beach, or exploring the great outdoors, here are some ways to help keep you and your family healthy this summer:

  • Warmer temperatures are attractive to mosquitoes, ticks and fleas. To prevent the illnesses that can come with these, use an appropriate insect and tick repellen and apply it properly. Prime mosquito-biting hours are usually from dusk to dawn, but ticks are out at all times. Young ticks are so small that they can be difficult to see. To keep ticks at a distance, avoid high grassy and leaf-litter places, and use a repellant that has 20% DEET. Once you come back indoors, shower or bathe promptly and check for ticks. Wash and tumble dry your clothing as well as check pets for ticks.

  • Protect yourself and your family from recreational water illnesses by doing your part to keep germs out of the pool. Do not swim if you have diarrhea, don’t swallow pool water, and wash hands after using the toilet. For sun safety, avoid bing outdoors during the midday if the sun is intense, use sunscreen with at least SPF 15, cover up with clothing, wear a brimmed hat and wear sunglasses that block UVA and UVB. Be aware of the signs of heat stress.

All of this is to remind you how to enjoy summer and be safe and healthy.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cdc.gov

Hurricane Season Begins Tomorrow June 1 2013

Tomorrow starts the beginning of hurricane season. Planning includes staying informed, making a family emergency plan and having a well-stocked emergency kit.

“The best time to prepare for an emergency is before it happens,” says New Jersey Department of Health Commissioner Mary O’Dowd. “By taking time to make or review emergency plans and develop emergency kits, families can be ready for hurricane season or for any emergency. There are lessons learned from our experience with Superstorm Sandy, such as issues with generator safety, which can help improve our readiness and save lives.”

We learned in Superstorm Sandy that preparing for loss of electricity is extremely important.

To prepare for a hurricane, you should take the following measures:

  • To begin preparing, you should build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.
  • Know your surroundings.
  • Learn the elevation level of your property and whether the land is flood-prone. This will help you know how your property will be affected when storm surge or tidal flooding are forecasted.
  • Identify levees and dams in your area and determine whether they pose a hazard to you.
  • Learn community hurricane evacuation routes and how to find higher ground. Determine where you would go and how you would get there if you needed to evacuate.
  • Make plans to secure your property:
  • Cover all of your home’s windows. Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection for windows. A second option is to board up windows with 5/8” marine plywood, cut to fit and ready to install. Tape does not prevent windows from breaking.
  • Install straps or additional clips to securely fasten your roof to the frame structure. This will reduce roof damage.
  • Be sure trees and shrubs around your home are well trimmed so they are more wind resistant.
  • Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts.
  • Reinforce your garage doors; if wind enters a garage it can cause dangerous and expensive structural damage.
  • Plan to bring in all outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage cans and anything else that is not tied down.
  • Determine how and where to secure your boat.
  • Install a generator for emergencies.
  • If in a high-rise building, be prepared to take shelter on or below the 10th floor.
  • Consider building a safe room.

Higher Temperatures Remind Us to Take Precautions

Temperatures are expected to hit the low 90’s through the weekend. Children, older adults, people with disabilities and pets are most at risk during excessive temperatures. Here are related emergency safety tips:
  • Stay indoors in air conditioning as much as possible
  • If you do go outside stay in the shade
  • If your home is not air conditioned, spend at least two hours daily at an air conditioned mall, library or other public place
  • Wear sunscreen outside, along with loose fitting light colored clothes that cover as much skin as possible
  • Drink water regularly even if you are not thirsty. Limit alcohol, and sugary drinks which speeds dehydration
  • Never leave children or pets alone in the car
  • Avoid exertion during the hottest part of the day
  • Take a cool shower or bath
  • Be a good neighbor, check on elderly and people with disabilities in your community who may need assistance keeping cool
Additionally, residents should contact their local and/or county offices of emergency management or health departments regarding any open air-conditioned senior centers or cooling stations, or call
2-1-1.