Newark Department of Health and Community Wellness Director Dr. Mark J. Wade advises that the weather forecast indicates that our area will be under a heat advisory from Saturday, May 21, through Sunday, May 22.
Temperatures are expected to rise into the low to mid-90s with a heat index as high as 98°F over the two-day period. While the City of Newark’s Department of Recreation, Cultural, and Senior Services will NOT be opening cooling sites, 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.
Vulnerable Newark residents are advised to stay cool by using air conditioning. If air conditioning is not available at home, we recommend you visit places that will be air-conditioned.
Drinking water at regular intervals, as well as limiting strenuous activity, especially during the hottest parts of the day, is highly recommended.
Residents are urged to check in on vulnerable friends, family members and neighbors to help them stay cool.
Additionally, we recommend that residents visit locations throughout the city and state that offer air-conditioned facilities to help stay cool:
- Malls and shopping centers
- Movie theaters
- Your local recreation center
- Water parks
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, contact them, as well as relatives—in person or 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. Newarkers should check in on older neighbors who may be isolated from friends and family.
Health and safety tips for protection against the heat:
- Air conditioning is the best way to keep cool when it is hot outside, but some people do not have an air conditioner or do not turn it on when they need it. Encourage them to use air conditioning. Help them get to an air-conditioned place if they cannot stay cool at home. Make sure they are drinking enough water
- Stay out of the sun—avoid extreme temperature changes.
- Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing. Light colors reflect some of the sun’s energy.
- Drink fluids—particularly water—even if you do not feel thirsty. Your body needs water to keep cool. (Those on fluid-restricted diets or taking diuretics should first consult their physician.)
- Water is the safest liquid to drink during heat emergencies. Avoid beverages containing alcohol and/or caffeine.
- Eat small, frequent meals.
- Avoid strenuous activity, especially during the sun’s peak hours—11 a.m. to 4 p.m. If you must do strenuous activity, do it during the coolest part of the day, which is usually in the morning between 4 a.m. and 7 a.m.
- If possible, go to an air-conditioned building for several hours during the middle of the afternoon, which is the hottest part of the day.
- Cool down with a cool bath or shower.
- Participate in activities that will keep you cool, such as going to the movies, bookstores, shopping at a mall, or swimming at a pool or beach.
- Cover all exposed skin with an SPF sunscreen (15 or above); wear a wide-brimmed hat to protect your face and head.
- NEVER leave your children or pets in the car. Simply leaving the windows cracked does not mean it is safe to do so.
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 aggravate heart or lung disease even without symptoms of heat illness. The risk of getting sick during a heatwave is increased for people who:
Do not have or 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 mobility, or are unable to leave their homes
- Are overweight
- 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. Call 911 immediately if you have, or someone you know has:
- Hot, dry skin OR cold clammy skin
- Trouble breathing
- Rapid heartbeat
- Confusion, disorientation, or dizziness
- Nausea and vomiting
Keeping Your Pets Safe
- Avoid dehydration: Pets can dehydrate quickly, so give them plenty of fresh, clean water.
- Exercise early and late: When the temperature is very high, do not 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 heatstroke 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 could quickly lead to fatal heatstroke 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 the summer months.
- Prepare with your pet: Pet food, water, medications and supplies should always be included in your emergency preparedness plans and “go bags.”