Archive: Summer Weather Safety June 25, 2018, at 12:00 p.m.
Summer has officially begun, and summer in Florida means weather. During this season of sunshine and storms, we want you to remember some basic tips to stay safe. Below, you’ll find some tips from the National Weather Service and the Center for Disease Control.
Be safe and well this summer, Dolphins!
When temperatures rise in the summer, extremely hot weather can make you sick. Heat stress is heat-related illness caused by your body’s inability to cool down properly. The body normally cools itself by sweating, but, under some conditions, sweating just isn’t enough for your body to compensate for the heat. It is important to stay cool and hydrated to protect yourself.
- Stay in an air-conditioned area during the hottest hours of the day. If you don’t have air conditioning in your home, go to a public place such as a shopping mall or a library to stay cool. Cooling stations and senior centers are also available in many large cities for people of all ages.
- Wear light, loose-fitting clothing.
- Drink water often. Don’t wait until you are thirsty.
- Avoid unnecessary hard work or activities if you are outside or in a building without air-conditioning.
- Avoid unnecessary sun exposure. When in the sun, wear a hat, preferably with a wide brim.
- Air conditioning is the strongest protective factor against heat-related illness. Exposure to air conditioning for even a few hours a day will reduce the risk for heat-related illness.
Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is emitted by the sun and artificial sources, such as tanning beds. While it has some benefits for people, including the creation of Vitamin D, it also can cause health risks, including sunburn, eye damage, and skin cancer.
To protect yourself from UV radiation:
- Stay in the shade, especially during midday hours.
- Wear clothes that cover your arms and legs.
- Wear a wide brim hat to shade your face, head, ears, and neck.
- Wear wraparound sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB rays.
- Use sunscreen with sun protection factor (SPF) 15 or higher, for both UVA and UVB protection.
- Avoid indoor tanning. Indoor tanning is particularly dangerous for younger users; people who begin indoor tanning during adolescence or early adulthood have a higher risk of developing melanoma.
Mosquito bites can be more than just annoying and itchy. They can spread viruses that make you sick or, in rare cases, cause death. Although most kinds of mosquitoes are just nuisance mosquitoes, some kinds of mosquitoes in the United States and around the world spread viruses that can cause disease.
- Use insect repellent: When used as directed, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered
insect repellents are proven safe and effective, even for pregnant and breastfeeding
women. Use an EPA-registered insect repellent with one of the following active ingredients:
- Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE)
- Para-menthane-diol (PMD)
- Cover up: Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
- Keep mosquitoes outside: Use air conditioning, or window and door screens. If you are not able to protect yourself from mosquitoes inside your home or hotel, sleep under a mosquito bed net.
Short, intense thunderstorms are characteristic of summer in Jacksonville, and those storms can come with a few hazards to be aware of.
Florida has been called the “lightning capital” of the United States, with more than 2,000 lightning injuries over the past 50 years. Most of those injuries are preventable with some basic safety precautions.
- If the weather forecast calls for thunderstorms, postpone your trip or activity.
- Remember: When thunder roars, go indoors. Find a safe, enclosed shelter.
- The main lightning safety guide is the 30-30 rule. After you see lightning, start counting to 30. If you hear thunder before you reach 30, go indoors. Suspend activities for at least 30 minutes after the last clap of thunder.
- If no shelter is available, crouch low, with as little of your body touching the ground as possible. Lightning causes electric currents along the top of the ground that can be deadly over 100 feet away.
- Stay away from concrete floors or walls. Lightning can travel through any metal wires or bars in concrete walls or flooring.
- Although you should move into a non-concrete structure if possible, being indoors does not automatically protect you from lightning. In fact, about one-third of lightning-strike injuries occur indoors.
- Avoid water during a thunderstorm. Lightning can travel through plumbing.
- Avoid electronic equipment of all types. Lightning can travel through electrical systems and radio and television reception systems.
- Avoid corded phones. However, cordless or cellular phones are safe to use during a storm.
- Avoid concrete floors and walls.
On average, more people are killed by flooding than by any other single severe weather hazard, including tornadoes, lightning, and hurricanes. Most of these deaths occur at night, when it is harder to see standing water.
- DO NOT drive onto a flooded roadway.
- DO NOT drive through flowing water.
- If you approach a roadway that is flooded, TURN AROUND - DON’T DROWN.
- Drive with extreme caution if roads are even just wet or it is raining. You can lose control of your vehicle if hydroplaning occurs, which is when a layer of water builds up between your tires and the road, causing there to be no direct contact between your vehicle and the road.
If a Flash Flood Warning is issued for your area…
- If advised to evacuate, do so immediately! Act quickly to save yourself, you may not have much time.
- Get out of areas that are subject to flooding and move to a safe area before access is cut off by flood waters. Low spots such as dips, canyons, and washes are not the places you want to be during flooding!
- DO NOT drive if not necessary. If driving is necessary, do not attempt to drive over a flooded road, as the depth of the water is not always obvious, and the roadway may no longer be intact under the water. Never drive around a barricade; they are placed there for your protection! If your vehicle stalls, leave it immediately, and move to higher ground before water sweeps you and your vehicle away.
- DO NOT try to walk, swim, or play in flood water. You may not be able to determine if there are holes or submerged debris, or how quickly the water is flowing, and you may be swept away. If water is moving swiftly, as little as 6 inches of water can knock you off of your feet! There is also a danger of hazardous materials polluting the water. Also remember that water is an electrical conductor; if there are power lines down, there is a possibility of electrocution.
The rain and wind associated with thunderstorms can produce some debris, especially in Jacksonville, where many areas of town are home to gorgeous, mature trees. Branches fall, and, if the ground is saturated, trees can uproot. Pay attention to your surroundings.
Remember, the difference between a tornado watch and a warning is:
- Authorities are watching severe weather conditions for possible funnels.
- A tornado has been sighted and authorities are warning you to take necessary precautions.
You should be prepared to:
- Seek shelter indoors, preferably an interior hallway or lower floor.
- If you are on campus, avoid seeking shelter in the gymnasium.
- Avoid windows and doors, taking shelter under heavy furniture, if available.
- If outdoors, find shelter in a ditch or depression.
- Report any injuries, damage, and/or flooding on campus to Campus Security at (904) 256-7585.