The Middlesex County Office of Health Services is warning residents of unhealthy air quality and extreme heat for today and tomorrow.
“The Board of Chosen Freeholders is urging all our residents to take precautions to stay safe as weather patterns are bringing unhealthy levels of ozone and extreme heat to our area,” said Freeholder H. James Polos, chair of the County’s Public Safety and Health Committee. “Stay cool, stay hydrated and stay out of the heat.”
Freeholder Director Ronald G. Rios added: “Check on your neighbors, friends and family members who have health concerns, as this weather may exasperate their conditions.”
June 17 - An Ozone Action Day has been declared. Ozone is forecast to reach unhealthy levels for sensitive groups across New Jersey due to light west winds, warm temperatures, and mostly sunny skies.
Sensitive individuals, including the young, elderly and persons with respiratory diseases, such as asthma, should avoid strenuous outdoor activity during the afternoon and evening hours. In addition, fine particles are forecast to reach the moderate category throughout the Garden State with increasing humidity.
June 18 - Moderate ozone and fine particle levels are forecast across New Jersey with warm temperatures, increasing clouds and showers/thunderstorms later in the day.
Moderate ozone levels mean air quality is acceptable. However, for some pollutants there may be a moderate health concern for a very small number of people who are unusually sensitive to air pollution.
Extreme Heat Safety Tips
Stay cool, stay hydrated, stay informed.
· Stay cool: Stay in air-conditioned buildings as much as possible and avoid direct sunlight.
· Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water and do not wait until you are thirsty to drink.
· Stay informed: Stay updated on local weather forecasts so you can plan activities safely.
When you must be outdoors in hot weather, take steps to stay cool and healthy. Cut down on exercise and other hard tasks. Drink two to four glasses of cool, non-alcoholic fluids every hour. Rest often in shady areas. Wear light clothing and protect yourself from the sun with a wide brimmed hat, sunglasses and sunscreen - SPF 15 or higher.
During an extreme heat event, check on at-risk friends, family, and neighbors at least twice a day. Check on the elderly, or people aged 65 years or older, to make sure they are safe. People with a chronic medical condition are less likely to sense and respond to changes in temperature. Also they may be taking medications that can intensify the effects of extreme heat. Never leave infants in a parked car, nor should pets be left in parked cars, they can suffer heat sickness too.
Watch for the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Signs of heat exhaustion include: heavy sweating; weakness; cold, pale, clammy skin; fast, weak pulse; nausea or vomiting; and fainting. Signs of heat stroke include: high body temperature (above 103 degrees Fahrenheit); hot, red, dry, or moist skin; rapid and strong pulse; and possible unconsciousness.
Extreme Heat Resources
New Jersey Weather Hazard Updates
National Weather Forecast Office Mount Holly home page
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Extreme Heat: A Prevention Guide to Promote Your Personal Health and Safety
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administrator National Weather Service
USEPA – Excessive Heat Events Guidebook
United States Department of Labor – Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Heat Stress