Summer Safety Tips and Heatwave Awareness

Whether you’re working or playing outside this summer, it’s important to keep summer safety in mind as we approach the hottest period of the summer.

When outside, keep the following in mind:

  • Wear appropriate clothing, including a wide-brimmed hat
  • Take frequent water breaks
  • Apply sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15
  • Never leave kids or pets unattended in a vehicle

Learn more at The National Safety Council.

In recent years, excessive heat has caused more deaths than all other weather events, including floods. A heat wave is a prolonged period of excessive heat, generally 10 degrees or more above average. During the summer months, you can prepare in many ways:

  • Listen to local weather forecasts and stay aware of upcoming temperature changes.
  • Be aware of both the temperature and the heat index. The heat index is the temperature the body feels when the effects of heat and humidity are combined. Exposure to direct sunlight can increase the heat index by as much as 15° F.
  • Discuss heat safety precautions with members of your household. Have a plan for wherever you spend time— home, work and school—and prepare for the possibility of power outages.
  • Check the contents of your emergency disaster kit (bug out bag) in case a power outage occurs.
  • Know those in your neighborhood who are elderly, young, sick or overweight. They are more likely to become victims of excessive heat and may need help.
  • If you do not have air conditioning, choose places you could go to for relief from the heat during the warmest part of the day (schools, libraries, theaters, malls).
  • Be aware that people living in urban areas may be at greater risk from the effects of a prolonged heat wave than are people living in rural areas.
  • Get trained in First Aid to learn how to treat heat-related emergencies.
  • Ensure that your animals’ needs for water and shade are met.

During a heatwave you can respond with the following actions:

  • Listen to a NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) Weather Radio for critical updates from the National Weather Service (NWS).
  • Never leave children or pets alone in enclosed vehicles.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol.
  • Eat small meals and eat more often.
  • Avoid extreme temperature changes.
  • Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Avoid dark colors because they absorb the sun’s rays.
  • Slow down, stay indoors and avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day.
  • Postpone outdoor games and activities.
  • Use a buddy system when working in excessive heat.
  • Take frequent breaks if you must work outdoors.
  • Check on family, friends and neighbors who do not have air conditioning, who spend much of their time alone or who are more likely to be affected by the heat.
  • Check on your animals frequently to ensure that they are not suffering from the heat.

Learn more at the Red Cross.

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Summer Plumbing Tips

  • Summer means more outdoor activities for you and your family which can mean more dirty clothes!  Check your washing machine hoses for cracks or leaks.  Make sure your washing machine is at least four inches from the wall too help prevent hose kinking and damage.  It is recommended that washing machine hoses be replaced every three years.  Remember to remove dryer lint regularly and never leave home with your washer or dryer running!
  • Be careful what you put down your kitchen disposal after your cookout.  Most are not equipped to handle cornhusks, celery, banana peels and other fibrous or stringy foods
  • As the summer heats up in the afternoon, we are prone with those heavy rains showers or thunderstorms.  Excessive rain can get into sewer pipes through cracks and cause the sewer line to back up. You might also experience trouble if tree roots spread underground and crack the pipes. If you see any signs of sewer line trouble such as water from the toilet backing up into the bathtub drain, call a qualified plumber right away.
  • It’s also a good idea to make sure your sump pump is working properly during the summer months.  You may want to consider a back up system if you are concerned about water damage should your current pump stop doing it’s job!

The best defense to ensuring your plumbing is running properly is to schedule an annual maintenance inspection!

Enjoy the summer with your family and friends!