(Gloucester Township, NJ) — The Office of the Camden County Health Officer has issued a Heat Advisory for Camden County beginning today, Aug. 19, effective from noon until 7 p.m., the advisory will remain in effect during the same period tomorrow, Aug. 20. During a Heat Advisory, the combination of hot temperatures and high humidity will combine to create a situation in which heat illnesses are possible.
“Over the next two days, we are expecting sweltering temperatures and with heat index levels reaching over 100. It is critical that everyone remember to check on elderly relatives, friends, and neighbors during days like these when there is extreme heat to combat,” said Freeholder Carmen Rodriguez, liaison to the Camden County Department of Health and Human Services. “When temperatures rise to dangerous levels, 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 humid weather, with peak heat index values between 100 and 104 degrees due to temperatures in the low-to-mid 90s. There is also the chance for scattered thunderstorms throughout the afternoon and evening.
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 and Disabled Services at (856) 858-3220.