Mayor Ras J. Baraka and Department of Health and Community Wellness (DHCW) Director Mark J. Wade announced today that a heat advisory is being issued this weekend as temperatures are expected to reach 90 degrees or higher. A “Code Red” is being issued for Monday, July 20, 2020. Temperatures are expected to rise to 95F with a Heat Index of 102F between 1 p.m. and 6 p. m.
The Health Department urges Newark residents to take precautions to prevent serious illness that can result from the heat, especially among vulnerable individuals such as seniors and those with chronic health problems or mental health conditions. Newark residents who are vulnerable should use air conditioning to stay cool, drink water at regular intervals, and limit strenuous activity, especially during the hottest parts of the day. “Residents are urged to call and check in on vulnerable friends, family members and neighbors to help them stay cool,” Mayor Baraka said.
The City is reminding residents that there are emergency shelters operating during the extreme hot weather that have partnered with the City to provide overnight sheltering. For more information about sheltering services, contact the shelters listed below or the Department of Health and Community Wellness, Division of Social Services at (973) 877- 9481, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
CHECK ON THOSE PARTICULARLY VULNERABLE TO THE HEAT
A small but crucial gesture can help ensure that we all have a safe and healthy summer. Get to know your neighbors and contact neighbors and relatives—by phone—at least twice a day during heat waves. Pay special attention to the elderly, the very young, and anyone with a pre-existing medical condition. Citizens should also check in on neighbors who may be isolated from friends and family while also implementing social distancing practices.
HEALTH AND SAFETY TIPS FOR PROTECTION AGAINST THE HEAT
Air conditioning is the best way to stay cool when it is hot outside. However, some people do not have an air conditioner or do not turn it on when they need it. Newark residents are encouraged to use air conditioning or fans. If air conditioning is unavailable at a residence, please assist those affected to get to a place where it is available.
Stay out of the sun. This is the quickest way to become overheated. Also, avoid extreme temperature changes.
Wear lightweight, bright or light-colored clothing to reflect some of the sun’s energy.
Drink fluids—water is best—even if you do not feel thirsty. Water is also the safest liquid to drink during heat emergencies. This will help your body to maintain a cooler temperature. If you are on a fluid-restricted diet or taking diuretics, please consult your physician first. Avoid beverages containing alcohol and/or caffeine.
Eat small, frequent, meals.
Avoid strenuous activity, especially during the sun’s peak hours, which are from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. If you must perform any strenuous activity, it is advisable to do it during the coolest part of the day, which is in the morning between 4 a.m. and 7 a.m.
If possible, go to an air-conditioned building for several hours during the hottest parts of the day.
Cool down with a cool bath or shower.
Cover all exposed skin with an SPF sunscreen (15 or above)
Wear a wide-brimmed hat to protect your face and head.
Use extreme caution in deciding to take an infant outside during extreme heat conditions.
Be careful not to overdress small children, especially newborns and infants.
Never leave children or pets in the car.
The City of Newark may open cooling centers in the five wards when temperatures reach extremely high temperature and humidity levels. If cooling centers do open, you may find the nearest ones by calling: (973) 733-4311; go to http://www.newarknj.gov or follow us on Facebook.
During periods of intense electrical usage, such as on hot, humid days, it is important to conserve energy as much as possible to avoid brownouts and other electrical disruptions. While diminishing your power usage may seem like an inconvenience, your cooperation will help to ensure that utilities are able to continue to provide uninterrupted electrical service to you and your neighbors.
Set air conditioners at 78 degrees Fahrenheit. (A 75F setting uses 18% more electricity and a 72F setting uses 39% more electricity.) This setting allows for sufficient cooling while still conserving electric power.
Use an air conditioner only when home. If you want to cool your room before you arrive home, use a timer to have it turn on no more than one-half hour before you arrive.
FACTS ABOUT HEAT ILLNESS
Heat illness is serious. Prolonged exposure to the heat can be harmful and potentially fatal. The added stress caused by heat can also irritate heart or lung disease even without symptoms of heat illness. The risk for getting sick during a heat wave is increased for people who:
Do not have or do not use air conditioning
Are age 65 or older
Have chronic medical or mental health conditions
Take certain medications, which can disrupt the regulation of body temperature
Are confined to their beds, have trouble with being mobile, or are unable to leave their homes
Consume alcohol or illegal drugs
Know the warning signs of heat stress!
If you (or someone you know) feels weak or faint, go to a cool place and drink water. If there is no improvement, call a doctor or 911.
Please call 911 if you or someone you know begins exhibiting two or more of the following symptoms:
Hot dry skin OR cold clammy skin
Confusion, disorientation, or dizziness
Nausea and vomiting
KEEPING YOUR PETS SAFE
The summer months can be just as uncomfortable for pets as it is for humans. Pets are affected by humidity as much as the ambient hot temperatures. Follow these tips for keeping your four-legged family members comfortable during the heat advisory.
Avoid dehydration: Pets can dehydrate quickly, so give them plenty of fresh, clean water.
Exercise early and late: When the temperature is very high, don’t let your dog linger on hot asphalt. Your pet’s body can heat up quickly, and sensitive paw pads can burn.
Know when your pet is in danger: Symptoms of overheating in pets include excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, mild weakness, stupor, or even collapse. Animals with flat faces like Pugs and Persian cats are more susceptible to heat stroke since they cannot pant as effectively. They should be kept cool in air-conditioned rooms as much as possible.
Never leave a pet inside of a parked car on a hot day. Even with the windows open, extreme temperatures inside a parked car could quickly lead to a fatal heat stroke for your pet.
Keep cats safe by installing screens in your windows. Unscreened windows pose a real danger to cats, who fall out of them often during summer months.
Prepare your pet emergency “go bag:” Pet food, water, medications and supplies should always be included in your emergency preparedness plans and “go bags.”
“The City of Newark and The Department of Health and Community Wellness are always available to answer any questions that you may have during this heat advisory. We are working to make our City one that we can all be healthy in and believe in!” said Director Wade.