Weather Safety Tips

Weather Safety Tips

Hard Freeze Warning: Take Action!

When temperatures are expected to drop below 28°F for an extended period of time, killing most types of commercial crops and residential plants.

Freeze Watch: Be Prepared

A freeze watch when there is a potential for significant, widespread freezing temperatures within the next 24-36 hours. A freeze watch is issued in the spring at the start of the growing season.

Frost Advisory: Be Aware

A frost advisory means areas of frost are expected or occurring, posing a threat to sensitive vegetation.

Freeze Warning: Take Action!

When temperatures are forecasted to go below 32°F for a long period of time, the National Weather Service issues a freeze warning. This temperature threshold kills some types of commercial crops and residential plants.

Winter Weather Safety

During Extremely Cold Weather

If you or someone you care about must venture outdoors during extreme cold this winter:

  • Dress in layers
  • Cover exposed skin to reduce your risk of frostbite or hypothermia
  • Try to seek shelter from the wind as much as possible while outside
  • Once inside again, change into dry clothing immediately if you are wet
  • Understand and watch for frostbite and hypothermia.

Watch for Frostbite

Frostbite can happen in minutes, especially on the extremities such as fingers, toes, nose and ears but can affect any area of exposed skin. If you suspect frostbite, immediately move inside to a heated location and begin warming the affected areas using warm water or body heat.

Signs of Hypothermia

  • shivering, which is your body’s attempt to generate heat through muscle activity
  • the “-umbles”: Stumbles, Mumbles, Fumbles, Grumbles. These behaviors may be a result of changes in consciousness and motor coordination caused by hypothermia.
  • Other hypothermia symptoms may include: slurred speech; abnormally slow rate of breathing; cold, pale skin; fatigue, lethargy or apathy.

Persons exhibiting these symptoms need medical attention immediately.

Remember COLD: cover, overexertion, layers, dry

  • Cover. Wear a hat or other protective covering to prevent body heat from escaping from your head, face and neck. Cover your hands with mittens instead of gloves. Mittens are more effective than gloves are because mittens keep your fingers in closer contact with one another.
  • Overexertion. Avoid activities that would cause you to sweat a lot. The combination of wet clothing and cold weather can give you chills.
  • Layers. Wear loose-fitting, layered, lightweight clothing. Outer clothing made of tightly woven, water-repellent material is best for wind protection. Wool, silk or polypropylene inner layers hold more body heat than cotton does.
  • Dry. Stay as dry as possible. In the winter, pay special attention to places where snow can enter, such as in loose mittens or snow boots.

Beware of Hypothermia

Hypothermia means dangerously low body temperature. If you get cold or wet, move indoors and get warm and dry.

Wind Chills

  • A Wind Chill Advisory means seasonably cold wind chill values are expected or occurring. Be sure you and your loved-ones dress appropriately and cover when venturing outdoors.
  • A Wind Chill Watch means dangerously cold wind chill values are possible. Adjust your plans to avoid being outside during the coldest parts of the day
  • A Wind Chill Warning means dangerously cold wind chill values are expected. If you do go outside, dress in layers, and cover exposed skin

Winter Weather Advisories, Watches and Warnings

Advisories mean: Be Aware

  • Winter Weather Advisories are issued when snow, blowing snow, ice, sleet, or a combination of these wintry elements is expected but conditions should not be hazardous enough to meet warning criteria. Be prepared for winter driving conditions and possible travel difficulties. Use caution when driving.
  • Freezing Rain Advisories are issued when light ice accumulation (freezing rain and/or freezing drizzle) is expected but will not reach warning criteria. Expect a glaze on roads resulting in hazardous travel. Slow down and use caution while driving because even trace amounts of ice on roads can be dangerous.

Snow Storm Safety – Know these terms:

  • Flurries: Light snow falling for short durations with little or no accumulation.
  • Snow Showers: Snow falling at varying intensities for brief periods of time. Some accumulation is possible.
  • Snow Squalls: Brief, intense snow showers accompanied by strong, gusty winds. Accumulation may be significant.
  • Blowing Snow: Wind-driven snow that reduces visibility. Blowing snow may be falling snow and/or snow on the ground picked up by the wind.
  • Blizzard: Sustained winds or frequent gusts of 35 mph or more with snow and blowing snow frequently reducing visibility to less than a quarter mile for 3 hours or more.

Emergency Supplies for Your Vehicle:

  • Jumper cables: might want to include flares or reflective triangle
  • Flashlights: with extra batteries
  • First Aid Kit: remember any necessary medications, baby formula and diapers if you have a small child
  • Food: non-perishable food such as canned food and a can opener, and protein rich foods like nuts and energy bars
  • Water: at least 1 gallon of water per person a day for at least 3 days
  • Basic toolkit: pliers, wrench, screwdriver
  • Pet supplies: food and water
  • Radio: battery or hand cranked
  • Cat litter or sand: for better tire traction
  • Shovel to dig out snow
  • Ice scraper for your windshild
  • Clothes: warm clothes, gloves, hat, sturdy boots, jacket and an extra change of clothes for the cold
  • Blankets or sleeping bags
  • Charged Cell Phone: and car charger

On the farm/pet owners

  • Move animals to sheltered areas or bring pets inside. Shelter belts, properly laid out and oriented, are better protection for cattle than confining shelters, such as sheds.
  • Haul extra feed to nearby feeding areas.
  • Have water available. Most animals die from dehydration in winter storms.
  • Make sure pets have plenty of food and water and a warm shelter.

Watches mean: Be Prepared

  • Blizzard Watches are issued when there is a potential for falling and/or blowing snow with strong winds and extremely poor visibilities. This can lead to whiteout conditions and make travel very dangerous.
  • Winter Storm Watches are issued when conditions are favorable for a significant winter storm event (heavy sleet, heavy snow, ice storm, heavy snow and blowing snow or a combination of events.)

Warnings mean: Take Action

  • Blizzard Warnings are issued for frequent gusts greater than or equal to 35 mph accompanied by falling and/or blowing snow, frequently reducing visibility to less than 1/4 mile for three hours or more. A Blizzard Warning means severe winter weather conditions are expected or occurring. Falling and blowing snow with strong winds and poor visibilities are likely, leading to whiteout conditions making travel extremely difficult. Do not travel. If you must travel, have a winter survival kit with you. If you get stranded, stay with your vehicle and wait for help to arrive.
  • Winter Storm Warnings are issued for a significant winter weather event including snow, ice, sleet or blowing snow or a combination of these hazards.  Travel will become difficult or impossible in some situations. Delay your travel plans until conditions improve.
  • Ice Storm Warnings are usually issued for ice accumulation of around 1/4 inch or more. This amount of ice accumulation will make travel dangerous or impossible and likely lead to snapped power lines and falling tree branches. Travel is strongly discouraged.

At Home or Work

Your primary concerns at home or work during a winter storm are loss of heat, power and telephone service and a shortage of supplies if storm conditions continue for more than a day.

  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Battery-powered NOAA Weather Radio and portable radio to receive emergency information
  • Extra food and water such as dried fruit, nuts and granola bars, and other food requiring no cooking or refrigeration.
  • Extra prescription medicine
  • Baby items such as diapers and formula
  • First-aid supplies
  • Heating fuel: refuel before you are empty; fuel carriers may not reach you for days after a winter storm
  • Emergency heat source: fireplace, wood stove or space heater, properly ventilated to prevent a fire
  • Fire extinguisher, smoke alarm; test smoke alarms once a month to ensure they work properly
  • Extra pet food and warm shelter for pets
  • Review generator safety. You should never run a generator in an enclosed space

Spring Weather Safety

Flood Safety

  • Flood Advisory: Be Aware: An Flood Advisory is issued when a specific weather event that is forecast to occur may become a nuisance. A Flood Advisory is issued when flooding is not expected to be bad enough to issue a warning. However, it may cause significant inconvenience, and if caution is not exercised, it could lead to situations that may threaten life and/or property.
  • Flood Watch: Be Prepared:A Flood Watch is issued when conditions are favorable for a specific hazardous weather event to occur. A Flood Watch is issued when conditions are favorable for flooding. It does not mean flooding will occur, but it is possible
  • Flood Warning: Take Action! A Flood Warning is issued when the hazardous weather event is imminent or already happening. A Flood Warning is issued when flooding is imminent or occurring.
  • Flash Flood Warning: Take Action! A Flash Flood Warning is issued when a flash flood is imminent or occurring. If you are in a flood prone area move immediately to high ground. A flash flood is a sudden violent flood that can take from minutes to hours to develop. It is even possible to experience a flash flood in areas not immediately receiving rain.

Thunderstorms

Severe Thunderstorm Watch: Be Prepared! Severe thunderstorms are possible in and near the watch area. Stay informed and be ready to act if a severe thunderstorm warning is issued. The watch area is typically large, covering numerous counties or even states.

Severe Thunderstorm Warning: Take Action! Severe weather has been reported by spotters or indicated by radar. Warnings indicate imminent danger to life and property. Take shelter in a substantial building. Get out of mobile homes that can blow over in high winds. Warnings typically encompass a much smaller area (around the size of a city or small county) that may be impacted by a large hail or damaging wind identified by an NWS forecaster on radar or by a trained spotter/law enforcement who is watching the storm.

What to Do During Severe Weather

Find out what you can do when severe weather strikes. Acting quickly is key to staying safe and minimizing impacts.

  • Stay Weather Ready: Continue to listen to local news or a NOAA Weather Radio to stay updated about severe thunderstorm watches and warnings.
  • At Your House: Go to your secure location if you hear a severe thunderstorm warning. Damaging wind or large hail may be approaching. Take your pets with you if time allows.
  • At Your Workplace or School: Stay away from windows if you are in a severe thunderstorm warning and damaging wind or large hail is approaching. Do not go to large open rooms such as cafeterias, gymnasiums or auditoriums.
  • Outside: Go inside a sturdy building immediately if severe thunderstorms are approaching. Sheds and storage facilities are not safe. Taking shelter under a tree can be deadly. The tree may fall on you. Standing under a tree also put you at a greater risk of getting struck by lightning.
  • In a Vehicle: Being in a vehicle during severe thunderstorms is safer than being outside; however, drive to closest secure shelter if there is sufficient time.

Tornadoes

  • Tornado Watch: Be Prepared! Tornadoes are possible in and near the watch area. Review and discuss your emergency plans and check supplies and your safe room. Be ready to act quickly if a warning is issued or you suspect a tornado is approaching. Acting early helps to save lives! Watches are issued by the Storm Prediction Center for counties where tornadoes may occur. The watch area is typically large, covering numerous counties or even states.
  • Tornado Warning: Take Action! A tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar. There is imminent danger to life and property. Move to an interior room on the lowest floor of a sturdy building. Avoid windows. If in a mobile home, a vehicle, or outdoors, move to the closest substantial shelter and protect yourself from flying debris. Warnings are issued by your local forecast office. Warnings typically encompass a much smaller area (around the size of a city or small county) that may be impacted by a tornado identified by a forecaster on Radar or by a trained spotter/law enforcement who is watching the storm.

During a Tornado

  • Stay Weather-Ready: Continue to listen to local news or a NOAA Weather Radio to stay updated about tornado watches and warnings.
  • At Your House: If you are in a tornado warning, go to your basement, safe room, or an interior room away from windows. Don’t forget pets if time allows.
  • At Your Workplace or School: Follow your tornado drill and proceed to your tornado shelter location quickly and calmly. Stay away from windows and do not go to large open rooms such as cafeterias, gymnasiums, or auditoriums.
  • Outside: Seek shelter inside a sturdy building immediately if a tornado is approaching. Sheds and storage facilities are not safe.
  • In a vehicle: Being in a vehicle during a tornado is not safe. The best course of action is to drive to the closest shelter. If you are unable to make it to a safe shelter, either get down in your car and cover your head, or abandon your car and seek shelter in a low-lying area such as a ditch or ravine.

After a Tornado

  • Stay Informed: Continue to listen to local news or a NOAA Weather Radio to stay updated about tornado watches and warnings. Multiple rounds of thunderstorms capable of producing tornadoes are possible during severe weather outbreaks.
  • Contact Your Family and Loved Ones: Let your family and close friends know that you’re okay so they can help spread the word. Text messages or social media are more reliable forms of communication than phone calls.
  • Assess the Damage: After the threat for tornadoes has ended, check to see if your property has been damaged. When walking through storm damage, wear long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, and sturdy shoes. Contact local authorities if you see power lines down. Stay out of damaged buildings. Be aware of insurance scammers if your property has been damaged.
  • Help Your Neighbor: If you come across people that are injured and you are properly trained, provide first aid to victims if needed until emergency responders arrive.

During a Flood

During a flood, water levels and the rate the water is flowing can quickly change. Remain aware and monitor local radio and television outlets. Avoid flood waters at all costs and evacuate immediately when water starts to rise. Don’t wait until it’s too late!

  • Stay Informed: Monitor local radio and television (including NOAA Weather Radio), internet and social media for information and updates.
  • Get to Higher Ground: Get out of areas subject to flooding and get to higher ground immediately
  • Obey Evacuation Orders: If told to evacuate, do so immediately. Be sure to lock your home as you leave. If you have time, disconnect utilities and appliances.
  • Practice Electrical Safety: Don’t go into a basement, or any room, if water covers the electrical outlets or if cords are submerged. If you see sparks or hear buzzing, crackling, snapping or popping noises –get out! Stay out of water that may have electricity in it!
  • Avoid Flood waters: Do not walk through flood waters. It only takes six inches of moving water to knock you off your feet. If you are trapped by moving water, move to the highest possible point and call 911 for help.
  • Do Not Drive into flooded roadways or around a barricade: Turn Around, Don’t Drown! Water may be deeper than it appears and can hide many hazards (i.e. sharp objects, washed out road surfaces, electrical wires, chemicals, etc). A vehicle caught in swiftly moving water can be swept away in a matter of seconds. Twelve inches of water can float a car or small SUV and 18 inches of water can carry away large vehicles.

Before severe weather strikes, preparation is key to staying safe

  • Be Weather-Ready: Check the forecast regularly to see if you’re at risk for severe weather. Listen to local news or a NOAA Weather Radio to stay informed about severe thunderstorm watches and warnings.
  • Sign Up for Notifications: Know how your community sends warning. Some communities have outdoor sirens. Others depend on media and smart phones to alert residents to severe storms. [Insert WMFD Alerts to Your Cell Here]
  • Create a Communications Plan: Have a family plan that includes an emergency meeting place and related information. Pick a safe room in your home such as a basement, storm cellar or an interior room on the lowest floor with no windows. Get more ideas for a plan at: https://www.ready.gov/make-a-plan
  • Practice Your Plan: Conduct a family severe thunderstorm drill regularly so everyone knows what to do if a damaging wind or large hail is approaching. Make sure all members of your family know to go there when severe thunderstorm warnings are issued. Don’t forget pets if time allows. 
    Prepare Your Home : Keep trees and branches trimmed near your house. If you have time before severe weather hits, secure loose objects, close windows and doors, and move any valuable objects inside or under a sturdy structure.
    Help Your Neighbor: Encourage your loved ones to prepare for severe thunderstorms. Take CPR training so you can help if someone is hurt during severe weather.

Lightning Safety

There is no safe place outside when thunderstorms are in the area. If you hear thunder, you are likely within striking distance of the storm. Just remember, When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors.

Outdoors
If you absolutely cannot get to safety, you can slightly lessen the threat of being struck with the following tips:

  • Avoid open fields, the top of a hill or a ridge top.
  • Stay away from tall, isolated trees or other tall objects. If you are in a forest, stay near a lower stand of trees.
  • If you are in a group, spread out to avoid the current traveling between group members.
  • If you are camping in an open area, set up camp in a valley, ravine or other low area. Remember, a tent offers NO protection from lighting.
  • Stay away from water, wet items, such as ropes, and metal objects, such as fences and poles. Water and metal do not attract lightning but they are excellent conductors of electricity. The current from a lightning flash will easily travel for long distances.

Indoors
A safe shelter is a building with electricity and/or plumbing or a metal-topped vehicle with windows closed. Picnic shelters, dugouts, small buildings without plumbing or electricity are not safe. Below are some key safety tips for you, your pets and your home:

  • Stay off corded phones. You can use cellular or cordless phones.
  • Don’t touch electrical equipment such as computers, TVs, or cords. You can remote controls safety.
  • Avoid plumbing. Do not wash your hands, take a shower or wash dishes.
  • Stay away from windows and doors that might have small leaks around the sides to let in lightning, and stay off porches.
  • Do not lie on concrete floors or lean against concrete walls.
  • Protect your pets: Dog houses are not safe shelters. Dogs that are chained to trees or on metal runners are particularly vulnerable to lightning strikes.
  • Protect your property: Lightning generates electric surges that can damage electronic equipment some distance from the actual strike. Typical surge protectors will not protect equipment from a lightning strike.

Lightning Safety on the Job: Know what objects and equipment to avoid during a thunderstorm.

  • Stay off and away from anything tall or high, including rooftops, scaffolding, utility poles and ladders.
  • Stay off and away from large equipment such as bulldozers, cranes, backhoes, track loaders and tractors.
  • Do not touch materials or surfaces that can conduct electricity, including metal scaffolding, metal equipment, utility lines, water, water pipes and plumbing.
  • Leave areas with explosives or munitions.

Summer Weather Saftey

Heat Index

The air temperature can actually feel hotter than what the thermometer reads. The Heat Index is a measure of how hot it really feels when relative humidity is factored in.

  • Excessive Heat Warning—Take Action! An Excessive Heat Warning is issued within 12 hours of the onset of extremely dangerous heat conditions. The general rule of thumb for this Warning is when the maximum heat index temperature is expected to be 105° or higher for at least 2 days and night time air temperatures will not drop below 75°; however, these criteria vary across the country, especially for areas not used to extreme heat conditions. If you don’t take precautions immediately when conditions are extreme, you may become seriously ill or even die.
  • Excessive Heat Watches—Be Prepared! Heat watches are issued when conditions are favorable for an excessive heat event in the next 24 to 72 hours. A Watch is used when the risk of a heat wave has increased but its occurrence and timing is still uncertain.
  • Heat Advisory—Take Action! A Heat Advisory is issued within 12 hours of the onset of extremely dangerous heat conditions. The general rule of thumb for this Advisory is when the maximum heat index temperature is expected to be 100° or higher for at least 2 days, and night time air temperatures will not drop below 75°; however, these criteria vary across the country, especially for areas that are not used to dangerous heat conditions. Take precautions to avoid heat illness. If you don’t take precautions, you may become seriously ill or even die.
  • Excessive Heat Outlooks are issued when the potential exists for an excessive heat event in the next 3-7 days. An Outlook provides information to those who need considerable lead-time to prepare for the event.

Heat Safety

During extremely hot and humid weather, your body’s ability to cool itself is challenged. When the body heats too rapidly to cool itself properly, or when too much fluid or salt is lost through dehydration or sweating, body temperature rises and you or someone you care about may experience a heat-related illness. It is important to know the symptoms of excessive heat exposure and the appropriate responses.

Coping With the Heat: Heat Safety & Hyperthermia

When heat and humidity are on the rise, Richland Public Health urges residents to use extra care to avoid heat-related illness (also known as hyperthermia).

People suffer heat-related illnesses such as heat stroke and heat exhaustion when the body’s temperature-control system is overloaded. Sweating is the body’s natural way of cooling itself. In some situations, especially in periods of high humidity, sweating alone will not provide an adequate release of body heat.

Conditions that can limit the body’s ability to regulate temperature in hot weather are old age, obesity, fever, dehydration, heart disease, poor circulation, sunburn and drug and alcohol use. Among those at highest risk for heat stroke or heat exhaustion are:

  • Infants and children up to 4 years old.
  • People 65 and older.
  • People who are overweight.
  • People who over-exert during work or exercise.
  • People who are ill or on certain medications.

Friends and neighbors are urged to periodically check on the elderly and those with illnesses, as they are among the highest-risk groups for heat-related problems. Use the following tips to help beat the heat:

Know the Signs of Heat Stroke

  • Heat stroke is a potentially life-threatening condition, characterized by: a body temperature of 103 degrees or higher; red, hot and dry skin with no sweating; rapid pulse; headache; dizziness; nausea; confusion; unconsciousness; and gray skin color.
  • People experiencing heat stroke need immediate medical assistance.
  • Before help arrives, begin cooling the victim by any means possible, such as spray from a garden hose or by placing the person in a cool tub of water.

What Should be in an Emergency Supply Kit?

Be prepared for any type of disaster by planning ahead and having emergency supplies on hand. Richland Public Health and other Emergency Agencies recommend the following items be prepared in advance. In any disaster, you should prepare to be on your own for the first 72 hours before help arrives.

To make an emergency supply kit, assemble the items listed below and place them in a waterproof container like a plastic garbage can.

Water

  • Three-day supply of water (1 gallon per person per day).

Food

  • Three-day supply of food per person.

Some food items

  • Canned meat, fruit, or vegetables
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Flour
  • Peanut Butter
  • Peanuts
  • Raisins
  • Granola Bars
  • Coffee/Tea
  • Powdered Milk
  • Canned Soup
  • Vitamins
  • Hard Candy
  • Infant food or formula

First Aid Supplies

  • N-95 masks (one for each person).
  • Ibuprofen
  • Acetaminophen
    A first aid kit should contain at least the following: 
  • Sterile adhesive bandages (20)
  • 5×9 sterile dressing (1)
  • 3×3 sterile gauze (4-6)
  • 4×4 sterile gauze (4-6)
  • Hypoallergenic adhesive tape
  • Triangular bandages (3)
  • 2-inch sterile roller bandages (3)
  • 3-inch sterile roller bandages (3)
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Needle
  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Thermometer
  • Laxative
  • Cold pack
  • Safety pins
  • Sunscreen
  • Aspirin
  • Antacid
  • Ipecac
  • Antibacterial ointment
  • Cleansing agent/soap
  • Latex gloves (2 pair)
  • Anti-diarrhea medication
  • Activated Charcoal
  • CPR breathing barrier

Tools and Supplies

  • Battery-operated radio with extra batteries
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Non-electric can opener
  • Utility knife
  • Whistle
  • Waterproof matches
  • List of contact names and phone numbers
  • Plastic utensils
  • Paper cups and plates or mess kit
  • Aluminum foil
  • Paper towels
  • Large plastic trash bags
  • Duct tape
  • Wrench (to turn o gas/water)
  • Cash

What is a Heat Wave

  • Abnormally hot weather lasting at least two days
  • Heat Waves can occur anywhere in the country and cause heat illness or even death

How to Respond to Excessive Heat Events

  • Slow down: reduce, eliminate or reschedule strenuous activities until the coolest time of the day. Children, seniors and anyone with health problems should stay in the coolest available place, not necessarily indoors.
  • Dress for summer. Wear lightweight, loose fitting, light-colored clothing to reflect heat and sunlight.
  • Eat light, cool, easy-to-digest foods such as fruit or salads. If you pack food, put it in a cooler or carry an ice pack. Don’t leave it sitting in the sun. Meats and dairy products can spoil quickly in hot weather.
  • Drink plenty of water (not very cold), non-alcoholic and decaffeinated fluids, even if you don’t feel thirsty. If you on a fluid restrictive diet or have a problem with fluid retention, consult a physician before increasing consumption of fluids. 
  • Use air conditioners or spend time in air-conditioned locations such as malls and libraries.
  • Use portable electric fans to exhaust hot air from rooms or draw in cooler air.
  • Do not direct the flow of portable electric fans toward yourself when room temperature is hotter than 90°F. The dry blowing air will dehydrate you faster, endangering your health.
  • Minimize direct exposure to the sun. Sunburn reduces your body’s ability to dissipate heat.
  • Take a cool bath or shower.
  • Do not take salt tablets unless specified by a physician.
  • Check on older, sick, or frail people who may need help responding to the heat. Each year, dozens of children and untold numbers of pets left in parked vehicles die from hyperthermia.  Keep your children, disabled adults, and pets safe during tumultuous heat waves.
  • Don’t leave valuable electronic equipment, such as cell phones and GPS units, sitting in hot cars.
  • Make sure rooms are well vented if you are using volatile chemicals.

Drink Cool (not cold) Fluids

  • Active people should drink two to four glasses (16 to 32 ounces) of cool, non-alcoholic fluids each hour.
  • Do not take salt tablets without a doctor’s advice.
  • Avoid fluids that contain alcohol or caffeine, because they can add to dehydration and increase the effects of heat illness.

Monitor or Limit Outdoor Activities

  • Plan outdoor activities for the early morning or the evening, when the sun is less direct.
  • Wear loose-fitting, light-colored clothing.
  • A wide-brimmed hat protects against sunburn and helps keep the body cooler.
  • Move to the shade or into an air-conditioned building at the first signs of heat illness.
  • Very young children may become preoccupied with outdoor play and not realize they are overheated. Adults should mandate frequent “breaks” and bring children indoors for a cool drink.
  • Children or adolescents involved in team sports should be closely monitored for signs of heat stress. Consideration should be given to modifying practice or play during the hottest parts of the day.

Know the Signs of Heat Exhaustion

  • Remember, heat-related symptoms can come on quickly.
  • Symptoms of heat exhaustion are: heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, tiredness, weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea or fainting. People experiencing these symptoms should be moved to a cool, shady or air-conditioned area, and provided cool, non-alcoholic beverages.
  • Remove layers of clothing, if possible.

Don’t Forget Your Pets

  • Animals kept outdoors should have plenty of fresh water and a covered area to get out of the sun and cool down.
  • Consider jogging in the early morning or evening to help keep pets and yourself cool.

The best defense against heat-related problems is prevention. Staying cool and making simple changes in fluid intake, activities and clothing during hot weather will help keep you safe and healthy.

Sanitation Supplies 

  • Toilet paper 
  • Soap or liquid detergent 
  • Face Cloths or towels 
  • Feminine supplies 
  • Personal hygiene items (toothbrush, toothpaste) 
  • Infant supplies 
  • Household bleach 

Clothing & Bedding

  • One complete change of clothes per person. 
  • Sturdy shoes/boots 
  • Blanket or sleeping bag

Special Items 

  • Medications (Ask your physician or pharmacist about storing prescription medications). 
  • Eye glasses
  • Denture supplies. 
  • Contact lenses and 
  • Important family documents (Keep in a waterproof container or zip lock bag).


Additional Items

(These items are not necessary to have in your kit but will improve it):

  • Fire extinguisher 
  • Pliers 
  • Screwdrivers 
  • Hammer 
  • Saw
  • Knife 
  • Axe
  • Shovel 
  • Broom 
  • Compass 
  • Needle and thread 
  • Tube or pup tent 

Maintain Your Kit

  • Change/Rotate stored water and food every six months. 
  • Update your Emergency Supply Kit once a year.

Things to do to Prepare for an Emergency 

  • Take a CPR and First Aid class (locally, check with the Bellville/Jefferson Township Fire Department). 
  • Make a list of important phone numbers and contacts for each family member to keep in a safe place.
  • Make plans for emergency child care.
  • Plan a meeting place.

Cell Phone? 

  • Do you have a battery backup for your smart phone
  • Remember: cell phone service may not work in a disaster situation; do not rely solely on your cell phone for news or information.

Questions or Comments

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