Thursday, July 11, 2019

Hurricane season is here. Are you ready?

By NASA Goddard Space Flight Center,
courtesy of Flickr
Hurricane season has arrived in the U.S. In fact, one may form in the Gulf of Mexico this week. As you’re checking your TV, radio and phone for weather updates, remember to look out for hurricane warnings.

A hurricane warning is a signal that a hurricane has already started and could affect your local area. Hurricanes are predictable, but that doesn’t mean you should wait until they’re coming to prepare.
Getting ready for a storm takes a lot of planning and organization. It can take some time, and it might be stressful. You’ll need important supplies, such as a flashlight, batteries, bottled water, food and a first-aid kit.

And don’t forget to stock your car with supplies too! It’s important to have a car emergency kit in case you need to evacuate. This can include things such as an emergency kit, booster cables and printed maps. If you need to stay home, make sure you take steps to protect your space. Covering windows and tying up outdoor furniture are two things you can do to protect your home.

Talk to your family about the ways you can prepare for a hurricane. You can sit down and map out evacuation routes to your nearest shelter and contact them to make sure they’ll take your pets. After a hurricane, be aware of hazards like standing water in roads, wet electrical devices, damaged buildings and fallen power lines.

Stay safe and informed this hurricane season!

Tuesday, July 02, 2019

Heading to a concert, parade or picnic this summer? Stay safe in the crowd with these tips

By Chad Cooper, courtesy of Flickr
Summer is a fun time to be outside, especially with big events like music festivals, beach weekends and Fourth of July celebrations. But the large crowds can lead to dangerous situations.  It’s important to be prepared for anything, so here are a few things to keep in mind for all of your favorite summer celebrations.

• Before you go: Put on the right clothes. Wear a hat and light-colored clothes if it’s hot. Avoid open-toed shoes that can cause tripping. Charge your phone to 100% before you go. Just in case it dies, memorize important numbers. Bring water so you don’t get dehydrated and hand sanitizer to avoid germs.

• When you get there: Make sure you know where all the exits and first-aid stations are. Decide on a place to meet your friends or family in case you get separated.

• During the event: Keep an eye out for bathrooms. Limit your alcohol and caffeine intake. These drinks tend to dehydrate you.

• In case of emergency: Listen to instructions from officials. Try to stay near the edge of the crowd and move sideways through it when you need to leave. Stay calm! You know how to get through this.

For more tips, check out our crowd safety fact sheet. Enjoy your event!

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Be smart when it’s hot: Take extreme heat seriously

By Elizabeth Rasmussen, courtesy of iStockphoto
Summer’s here, bringing hot weather with it for much of the U.S. The East and West coasts have already had their first heat waves of the season and it’s only been about a week since summer began.
Because of climate change, extreme heat is becoming more frequent in places that haven’t experienced it in the past. Climate change makes extreme heat waves hotter, longer and more frequent. Extreme heat presents many risks to human health, including death. So it’s important to understand the ways you can protect yourself. It’s much easier to prevent heat-related injuries than it is to treat them.

Before heading out, check news and weather sites to know which days are going to be hotter than average. On really hot days, don’t stay in the heat for long periods of time. Find cool spaces like indoor buildings with air-conditioning. Stay hydrated, even if you don’t feel thirsty. Don’t do a lot of physical activity outside during a heat wave and be extra sure not to leave kids or pets in the car. Check on seniors to make sure they have a place to stay safe in the heat as well.

You can also take steps to prevent extreme heat by reducing your release of emissions that harm the climate. That means you can walk or bike to places rather than drive. Take public transit to work or carpool with friends. Shop locally grown foods that are in season.

For more everyday ideas to fight climate change, check out this tipsheet.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Mosquitoes: They’re out for blood, but you can stop their bite

By Lirtlon, courtesy iStockphoto
Bzzzzzz. Aaaaaaa! SPLAT! Mosquitoes are pesky little insects and most of the time when they bite you, mosquitoes just cause itching. But some also carry deadly diseases. In fact, mosquitoes can cause about 10 kinds of diseases, including Zika and West Nile virus.

Mosquitoes usually come out during the summer months. But in warmer climates, they don’t completely go away during the other seasons either. And as the U.S. stays warmer year-round because of climate change, that’s happening in more and more states. Most areas of the U.S. have a local mosquito control program that helps to track and control mosquitoes. But you should also take steps to avoid mosquitoes on your own.

The best way to avoid getting sick from mosquitoes is to not get bitten.When outside, use insect repellent that’s been proven safe and effective by the Environmental Protection Agency. You can find a bug spray that works best for you and your family with this online tool from EPA.You can also wear permethrin-treated clothing or clothing with long sleeves. Permethrin repels insects when they come in contact with your clothes. Avoid wearing scented lotion and fragrances that attract mosquitoes.
Water collected in flower pots, trash cans, swimming pools and bird baths can become a home for mosquito eggs. Reduce mosquitoes around your home by removing areas of standing water.You should also install screens in your home to block out pests.

While traveling outside the U.S., take special care. Tropical countries have a higher risk of mosquito-borne diseases such as malaria and dengue. You can take extra steps, like hanging mosquito netting around your bed. For more travel tips, check out the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s mosquito page.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Help prevent measles with new Get Ready fact sheet

Measles cases are at a record 25-year high in the U.S.  As of June 6, more than 1,000 people in 28 states have gotten sick from measles. These numbers are shocking because there is a vaccine against measles.

To help people stay safe from the potentially dangerous disease, APHA’s Get Ready campaign has released a new measles fact sheet. The fact sheet, which is available in English and Spanish, teaches you about measles, its symptoms and how it spreads. You can learn why people still get measles and how you can prevent it.

And the best part? Our fact sheet is quick and easy to read. That means it’s perfect to share with your friends, family and co-workers. There’s even a place to add your own organization’s logo.
Read it, download it and share it today. Together, we can end measles outbreaks!