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Montclair Township

Alerts and Messages

Be Heat Smart

6/12/2017 9:01:37 AM  •  Alerts  •  Message ID 1013693

With forecasts for temperatures in the 90s, the Montclair Health Department offers the following simple tips to be safe in the heat.

Be Heat Smart

People of all ages can suffer from the deadly effects of heat, but those most at risk are the elderly, young children, the sick and those who do not have access to air conditioning.

Heat and its effects on the body during a long heat wave can cause your body’s natural cooling system to work beyond its normal rate. What this means is that your body releases a large amount of sweat for a long period of time. This causes your body to slow down its rate of replacing these lost body fluids and salts. If not enough is replaced, you can become seriously ill.

The most serious heat related conditions are heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Heat exhaustion and heat stroke can occur if not enough fluids and salts lost from sweating are replaced.

Heat Exhaustion

  • Profuse sweating
  • Muscle cramps
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • A weak but rapid pulse
  • Headaches

Heat Stroke

A heat stroke is a medical emergency that can lead to disability or even death. A heat stroke is a complete failure of your body's cooling system. Heat strokes usually occur following heat exhaustion. Symptoms include:

  • Red or dry skin
  • Failure to sweat
  • Rapid pulse
  • Confusion
  • Unconsciousness
  • High Body Temp

If heat stroke is suspected, call 911 immediately.

Keep Yourself -- and Others -- Cool on Hot Days

  • Think water! Water in any form. For example a drink or a shower will bring immediate relief from the heat.
  • Stay hydrated. Drinking water is the best because it replenishes fluids lost due to sweating.
  • Try wetting wrists and other pulse points with cold water. This will help to cool off the entire body.
  • Avoid alcohol beverages and caffeine - they cause the body to loose more water.
  • Never leave children, a frail elderly or disabled person, or pets in an enclosed car -- not even for a minute -- as temperatures can quickly climb to dangerous levels.
  • Check on elderly neighbors.
  • For those without air conditioning, spending time in air-conditioned places such libraries, movies, malls or other public buildings during the hottest hours of the day.
  • Avoiding outdoor activity during the hottest hours of the day and reducing physical activity or reschedule it for cooler times of the day.
  • Wear light, loose fitting clothes.
  • Take frequent breaks when working or exercising outside.
  • Keep pets in the shade as much as possible.
  • Plan strenuous activities for early or late in the day.

Places you can visit during a heat wave:

  • Montclair Municipal Building
  • Montclair Public Library
  • Bookstores
  • Movie Theaters

Adapted from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Red Cross, and the American Public Health Association information.

How to Get Prepare for a Power Outage

HELP! The Power is Out…

Losing electricity in your home temporarily, a few minutes or a few hours, can be a real inconvenience. However, a power outage can be life threatening if it lasts longer, especially during warm weather.

Portable Generator Safety Tips:

Portable generators are useful when temporary electric power is needed, but they are hazardous when used improperly. The primary hazards to avoid when using a generator are carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning from the toxic engine exhaust, electric shock or electrocution, and fire from fuels.

• NEVER use a generator in an enclosed space. Generators can produce high levels of carbon monoxide (CO) very quickly. When you use a portable generator, remember that you cannot smell or see CO. If you start to feel sick, dizzy or weak while using a generator, get to fresh air RIGHT AWAY.

• Never use a generator indoors, even with ventilation. Opening doors and windows will not prevent CO build up.

• Follow safety instructions that come with your generator. Locate the unit outdoors and away from (downwind) from doors, windows and vents that could allow CO to come indoors.

• Be sure your generator is UL-approved, installed by a licensed electrician and inspected by your local electrical inspector.

• There must be a way to physically disconnect your generator from utility lines. Those who improperly install, operate or maintain a generator are risking their lives and the lives of their neighbors and utility workers.

“Sheltering” at Home:

In the event of an extended power outage it may be necessary for you to “shelter” in your home until power is restored. Now is a good time to think about how you would do this and keep emergency supplies handy.

Some suggestions include:

  • Water -- one gallon per person, per day for 3 days
  • Food -- non­perishable items 3 day supply per person
  • Flashlight
  • Battery ­powered or hand­crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
  • Extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Medications (7­day supply) and medical items
  • Multi­purpose tool
  • Sanitation and personal hygiene items
  • Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)
  • Cell phone with chargers
  • Family and emergency contact information
  • Extra cash
  • Emergency blanket
  • Map(s) of the area
  • Always keep your car’s fuel tank at least half full; gas stations use electricity to pump gas.
  • Know how to manually release your electric garage door.
  • Making plans with a friend or relative to spend time at their home if they have power.

Food During the Outage:

Perishable foods should not be held above 40°F for more than 2 hours. If a power outage is 2 hours or less, you need not be concerned, but how do you save your food when the refrigerator is out for longer times? Being prepared can help. By planning ahead, you can save your perishables.

What do I need?

• One or more coolers. Inexpensive styrofoam coolers can do an excellent job as well.

• Shelf-stable foods, such as canned goods and powdered or boxed milk. These can be eaten cold or heated on the grill.

• A metal-stem thermometer. A thermometer should be a necessity in your kitchen anyway. With a thermometer, you can quickly check the internal temperatures of food for doneness and safety.

What should I do?

• Do not open the refrigerator or freezer. An unopened refrigerator will keep foods cold enough for a couple of hours at least. A freezer that is half full will hold for up to 24 hours and a full freezer for 48 hours.

• If it looks like the power outage will be for more than 2-4 hours, pack refrigerated milk, dairy products, meats, fish, poultry, eggs, left-overs into your cooler surrounded by ice.

• If it looks like the power outage will be prolonged, prepare a cooler with ice for your freezer items.

What if I go to bed and the power is still not on?

Before you go to bed, pack your perishables into your coolers if you haven't already done so and put in as much ice as you can. Also, when you go to bed, leave a bedroom light switched on. When the power goes back on, it will wake you, so you can check the condition of your foods in the freezer.

What if the power goes out while I’m at work or out of the house and it has been more than a few hours before I get home?

Try to determine how long the power has been out. Check the internal temperature of the food in your refrigerator with your thermometer. A liquid such as milk or juice is easy to check. Spot check other items like steaks or left-overs also. If the internal temperature is above 40°F, it is best to throw it out.

What if the power goes out and comes back on while I am out?

If your freezer is fairly full and you know it was not longer than 24 hours, the food should be OK. There will be loss of quality with refreezing, but the food will be safe. If the refrigerator was out for more than 2-4 hours, it is best to discard the perishables.

What should be discarded after a power outage?

As soon as the power returns, check temperatures. If the food in the freezer has ice crystals and is not above 40oF you can refreeze. Perishable foods in the refrigerator should not be above 40oF for more than two hours. Use the chart below and on the back for help determine what to keep and what to discard.

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