(Gloucester Township, NJ) — The Office of the Camden County Health Officer has issued a Heat Alert for Camden County for July 20, effective from noon until 7 p.m.
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection has also issued a Code Orange Air Quality Alert for Camden County today. A Code Orange Air Quality Alert is issued when air pollution concentrations in the region may become unhealthy of sensitive groups. Children, elderly individuals, and those suffering from asthma, heart disease or lung conditions should minimize the effects of air pollution by avoiding strenuous activity or outdoor exercise. For more information on ground-level ozone and fine particles, visit www.airnow.gov.
“Temperatures are expected to rise to sweltering highs today, and it is critical for people to check on elderly relatives, friends, and neighbors during days like these to make sure they are safe and properly prepared for the conditions,” said Freeholder Carmen Rodriguez, liaison to the Camden County Department of Health and Human Services. “Safety in the heat is key, so remember to stay inside as much as possible, drink plenty of water, and contact a physician if you or a loved one is showing signs of heat stress.”
The latest weather forecast obtained by the health department is calling for hot and sunny weather today as temperatures have the potential to soar above 95 degrees.
To avoid heat-related illness, the Camden County Department of Health and Human Services recommends the following:
- Avoid, as much as possible, working or playing in the hot sun or other hot areas. If you must be out in the sun, wear a head covering. A wide-brimmed hat or visor will not only protect your head from intense rays of the sun, it will also provide a shield for your eyes.
- Use air-conditioners and fans. Open windows to release trapped hot air.
- Those taking regular medication should consult with their physician. Some medications cause an adverse reaction in hot weather.
- Wear lightweight clothing.
- Drink plenty of non-alcoholic liquids, warm and cool. Because the body loses fluids in the heat, drinking lots of liquids helps to avoid dehydration.
- Maintain a normal diet.
- Shower or bathe in water that is near skin temperature.
- Do not leave older people, children or pets alone in cars.
- Make sure your pets also have plenty of fresh drinking water.
- The early warning signs of heat stress are decreased energy, slight loss of appetite, faintness, light-headedness and nausea. People experiencing these symptoms should go to a cool environment, drink liquids, remove excess clothing and rest.
Serious signs of heat stress include unconsciousness, rapid heartbeat, throbbing headache, dry skin, chest pain, mental confusion, irritability, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle cramps, staggering and difficulty breathing. People experiencing these symptoms should get to immediate medical attention. While waiting for help, move the person to a cool area, remove excess clothing, spray with water, and fan the person. In an emergency, dial 911.
The Camden County Freeholder Board is once again distributing free fans to Senior Citizens this year. Residents age 60 and older with an income of $25,000 or less are eligible to receive a fan at no cost. To request a fan or to obtain more information, please call the Camden County Division of Senior Services at (856) 858-3220.