SUMMER BRINGS EXCESSIVE HEAT TO CUMBERLAND COUNTY
Freeholders Ask Residents to be Proactive
Cumberland COUNTY, NJ – With Cumberland County experiencing its first heat-wave of the summer, Freeholders are asking county residents to use caution during the excessive heat. “We’re reminding people to make sure they drink enough water so they won’t get dehydrated. Children, older adults, people with disabilities and pets are most at risk during excessive temperatures. We’re also turning off unnecessary lights and equipment in county buildings to help cut down on heat and the use of electricity”, said Freeholder Director Carl Kirstein. When it gets this hot, air conditioners have to work extra hard to keep buildings cool and that requires a lot of electricity and it puts a burden on our power grid. We don’t anticipate any problems, but we want to be proactive to everyone’s energy needs, so we’re doing our part by turning off unnecessary lights and electronic equipment throughout the county and we would like for folks at home to do the same.
“A Heat Advisory remains in effect until 6AM EDT Friday for the region. The Cumberland County Office of Emergency Management is monitoring the excessive heat and forecast for today into Friday, in coordination with the National Weather Service. Temperatures are in the upper 90’s, with the heat index values at 100F to 105F this afternoon, and people need to be mindful of the extreme heat”, said Freeholder William Whelan, Chairman of Cumberland County Department of Public Safety.
The county suggests the following heat 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 regarding any open air-conditioned senior centers or cooling stations.
According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, older adults and people with disabilities are more at risk for heat because they do not adjust as well as young people to sudden changes in temperature; they are more likely to have a chronic medical condition that changes normal body responses to heat; and they are more likely to take prescription medicines that impair the body’s ability to regulate its temperature or that inhibit perspiration.
The CDC also offers the following tips for older adults, persons with disabilities and/or their caregivers:
- Visit older adults who are at risk at least twice a day and watch them for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
- Encourage them to increase their fluid intake by drinking cool, nonalcoholic beverages regardless of their activity level.
Warning: If their doctor generally limits the amount of fluid they drink or they are on water pills, they will need to ask their doctor how much they should drink while the weather is hot.
- Take them to air-conditioned locations, if they have transportation problems.
Heat is often referred to as the “silent killer,” in contrast to tornados, hurricanes and other natural hazards with more dramatic visual effects. For more information regarding heat related emergencies, please log on to www.ready.nj.gov, visit the National Weather Service Heat Safety Page (http://www.weather.gov/om/heat/index.shtml), or call 2-1-1.
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