Tag Archives: National Weather Service

Take steps to avoid heat-related illnesses

Summer won’t officially make its appearance this year until June 21, but it is already hot. With the National Weather Service predicting temperatures in the mid- to upper-90s in some parts of the state — and even triple digits in the Midlands — this week, DHEC urges you to take precautions.

Whether you are out exercising or simply traveling to the grocery store to shop, take steps to protect yourself and others from possible heat-related illnesses. It’s not safe to leave a person in a parked car in warm or hot weather, even if the windows are cracked or the car is in shade. Children’s body temperatures warm at a rate three to five times faster than an adult’s.

What can be done to prevent heat-related illnesses?

Heat-related deaths are preventable. The best answer is to stay in an air-conditioned area. When you can’t do that, consider these tips:

  • Drink lots of water. If you are doing an outdoors activity, drink two to four glasses of at least 16 ounces of cool fluids every hour. Don’t drink liquids that contain caffeine, alcohol or large amounts of sugar, these actually cause you to lose body fluid.
  • Avoid strenuous activity.
  • Take frequent cool showers or baths.
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored clothes.
  • Limit sun exposure.
  • Never, ever, leave children or pets in a parked car. Having any person or pet in a car in the summer months without air conditioning is like putting them in an oven.

Learn more

Visit the DHEC website for more information on heat-related illnesses. You can also get useful prevention tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website.

From Other Blogs: Hurricane season, National Safety Month, pork and swine market reports & more

A collection of health and environmental posts from other governmental blogs.

Preparing Emergency Managers for Hurricane Season

The 2017 hurricane season will be remembered for the extreme devastation it caused in Texas, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and Florida as well as our neighbors in the Caribbean.  While long-term recovery efforts continue, plans have been readied for the  2018 hurricane season.  No one knows how the United States will be affected by hurricanes this year, so plans must be prepared with the possibility that your community will be impacted.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency with federal partners, such as the National Weather Service/National Hurricane Center and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, alongside state, county, and city emergency managers, have been working diligently to prepare for hurricane season.  This is done through training and outreach events coordinated by FEMA’s National Hurricane Program.  The program’s mission is to provide technical assistance to emergency managers and federal government partners for hurricane preparedness training, response and evacuation planning, and operational decision support. — From the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) blog

Make One Change for Safety this National Safety Month

June is National Safety Month, an opportunity to help prevent unnecessary injuries and deaths at work, on the roads, and in our homes and communities. With this year’s theme, No 1 Gets Hurt, we are encouraging readers to think of at least one change you can make to improve safety this month. This joint blog from NIOSH and the National Safety Council (NSC) highlights the weekly themes of emergency preparedness, wellness, falls and driving. Help us spread the word about National Safety Month to your family, friends and co-workers. Use the information below, download and share free materials from the NSC website, and visit the NIOSH website to help ensure that No 1 Gets Hurt. — From the CDC’s NIOSH Science blog

Knowledge is Power with New Users Guides for Pork and Swine Market Reports

The smell of pork barbeque fills the country air – must be time for the summer grilling season! Before pork makes its way into the store and onto your grill, complex transactions occur between producers, packers, retailers, and foodservice providers. To ensure market transparency, USDA’s Livestock Mandatory Reporting Program (LMR) provides the U.S. pork industry the market intelligence they need to competitively buy and sell pork.

LMR provides price and volume data covering about 97 percent of the swine industry and 87 percent of wholesale pork sales. LMR reports provide a wealth of information, but they can be complex. To help the pork industry navigate LMR and how pork is priced, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) created three user’s guides that provide insight into understanding the information available through our market reports. – From the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) blog

5 Communication Lessons Learned from Hurricane Maria

When Category 4 Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico, CDC assembled a team of experienced communicators who were flexible, bilingual, and culturally sensitive communicators. This group of experts prepared to deploy to Puerto Rico on short notice to support the communication needs of the Puerto Rico Health Department. I was asked to lead content development, and as a native Puerto Rican I did not hesitate to go home and help in any way I could.

I was part of the first team of four health communications specialists who arrived on the island just three weeks after the hurricane. We knew our job was not going to be easy— severe electrical power outage meant that residents had no access to internet, social media, or television. Antennas had fallen during the storm, so there was very limited radio coverage and almost no cell phone connectivity. Large billboards were literally on the ground and newspapers were not circulating widely because there was no way to publish and transport them for delivery. — From the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Public Health Matters blog

Building a Resilient Nation

My first day on the job at FEMA was the day Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico. Since then I’ve seen firsthand the tireless efforts of FEMA’s dedicated workforce in supporting disaster survivors from Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria, the catastrophic California wildfires, and dozens of other disasters around the nation.

As we moved from immediate response and recovery to long term recovery, we reflected on the lessons from the 2017 disasters. In doing so, we contemplated not only how to increase our readiness for catastrophic disasters, but also how best to reduce impacts from future disasters. We soon realized that we needed to shift the way we as a nation think about disasters, so that together, we can be better prepared in the future.

As a result of our months-long after action review, we recently released our 2018-2022 Strategic Plan. Goal 1 is to Build a Culture of Preparedness. — From the FEMA blog

Death of Bald Eagle Yields Life Lessons for West Virginia Students

Most educators agree that experiential learning makes a more lasting impression on students than classroom lectures. It’s the reason why Cindy Bryant and Greg Phillips, both teachers from Robert C. Byrd High School in Clarksburg, WV, put in the hard work to organize an overnight field trip for their students. The two educators never imagined it would be something they, and their students, would never forget.

On a cold night last November, a group of 10th grade biology students were on a bus, heading home to Clarksburg. For two days, they had hiked, observed wildlife and conducted their first stream study at Experience Learning, a center near Spruce Knob in the Monongahela National Forest. Sitting at the front of the bus, Cindy, who is also a biologist, noticed a large object in the road ahead.

As the bus got closer, she knew immediately it was a bald eagle—and it was blocking the way. Standing more than 2 ½ feet tall, the eagle did not respond when she and Greg tried to shoo it out of harm’s way. Seeing no other option, they decided to rescue it in the hopes of connecting with a wildlife rescue organization. – From the USDA blog

Prepare Yourself: It’s SC Severe Weather And Flood Safety Week

There’s a reason Gov. Henry McMaster proclaimed this week — March 4-10 — South Carolina Severe Weather and Flood Safety Week. Severe storms, tornadoes and flash floods are significant hazards in the Palmetto State. It’s important for people to develop emergency plans and be prepared to take proper safety precautions should the need arise.

The South Carolina Emergency Management Division (SCEMD) and the National Weather Service (NWS), which jointly sponsor the week, are promoting awareness of procedures that help keep you safe during floods and tornadoes.

A highlight of the week was the annual statewide tornado drill, which was conducted at 9 a.m. Wednesday, March 7.  Public schools, state and local Emergency Management, the South Carolina Broadcasters Association, and others participated. The purpose of the drill was to test communication systems, safety procedures, mitigation processes, etc.

Take action now to be prepared for any emergency. That begins by developing an emergency action plan for your home, business and other places where you spend your time. The plan should outline what you would do in case of a major emergency or disaster.

In addition, develop a communication plan that allows you to reach out to family members when normal lines of communication are not functioning. And don’t forget to have an emergency kit for your home, place of work and vehicle.

Visit the SCEMD website for more information about the South Carolina Severe Weather and Flood Safety Week as well as tips on what to do before, during and after tornadoes and floods.

It’s Hot: Take steps to help stay cool

Over the next day or two, the National Weather Service is forecasting temperatures in the mid- to upper-90s in some parts of South Carolina, with the heat index reaching above 100 degrees.

The heat index indicates how hot it actually feels to the body when relative humidity is combined with the air temperature. The heat index increases as the air temperature and relative humidity increase. Humid conditions make the body feel warmer.

When the body gets too hot, it uses sweat to cool off.  If that sweat is not able to evaporate, the body cannot regulate its temperature and struggles to cool itself.  When sweat evaporates, it reduces the body’s temperature

As you move about during these and other hot days to come, DHEC urges you to follow the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s three tips for preventing heat-related illnesses: Stay cool. Stay hydrated. Stay informed.

Stay cool:

  • Wear appropriate, lightweight clothing
  • Stay in an air-conditioned place as much as possible
  • Schedule outdoor activities carefully
  • Pace yourself; cut down on exercising when it is hot
  • Wear sunscreen

DO NOT LEAVE CHILDREN OR PETS IN CARS, EVEN IF THE WINDOW IS CRACKED!

Stay Hydrated

  • Drink plenty of fluids (Avoid very sugary or alcoholic drinks)
  • Replace salt and minerals lost due to sweating
  • Keep your pets hydrated

Stay Informed

  • Check for weather updates via local news
  • Know the signs and symptoms of heat-related illnesses
  • Monitor those at high risk:
  • Infants and young children
  • People 65 years of age or older
  • People who are overweight
  • People who overexert during work or exercise
  • People who are physically ill, especially with heart disease or high blood pressure, or who take certain medications, such as for depression or poor circulation
  • Visit and closely watch adults at risk at least twice a day

Visit the CDC website for more information on extreme heat.

Prevention is the best defense against heat-related illnesses

The National Weather Service forecast projects the next several days to be scorchers, hitting or coming close to 100 degrees or more in various parts of South Carolina.

Be careful and take steps to avoid heat-related health problems.

Prevention: The best defense

Here are some tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help you beat the heat:

  • Drink more fluids. Whether you’re active or not, it’s important to stay hydrated. Don’t drink liquids that contain alcohol or large amounts of sugar because they cause you to lose more body fluid. Avoid very cold drinks as well; they can cause stomach cramps.
  • If your doctor generally limits the amount of fluid you drink or has you on water pills, ask your physician how much you should drink while the weather is hot.
  • If possible, stay indoors in an air-conditioned place. If your home does not have air conditioning, go to the mall or public library for a break from the heat. Just a few hours spent in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler when you go back into the heat.
  • Electric fans may provide comfort, but when the temperature soars into the high 90s, fans will not prevent heat-related illness. Take a cool shower or bath, or go into an air-conditioned place.
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
  • NEVER leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle.

While anyone can suffer from heat-related illness, it’s particularly important to keep a close watch on infants and young children, people aged 65 and older, people with mental illness and those who are physically ill. Visit older adults at least twice a day and watch them for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. And it goes without saying that infants and young children need more frequent monitoring.

For more information on heat-related illnesses, visit www.scdhec.gov/Health/DiseasesandConditions/HeatRelatedIllness.

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