summer

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  • Summer Safety Reminders

    Here we are in Sunny Summertime - thinking of fun, play, time off, long days... well keep it fun by remembering a few simple safety principles:

    ?     Stay safe this Summer
    ?     Summer Safety Update
    ?     Summer Fair Safety
    ?     Summer Surprises and Safety
    ?     Summer Safety Tips
    ?     Summer Storms?
    ?     Be prepared for summer safety — learn CPR
    ?     Learn Lightning Safety & Separate Myth from Reality
    ?     Summer is Heating Up… Think about Fire Prevention

     

    Summer Safety Reminders

  • Welcome to Meteorological Summer ??

    While calendar Summer won't begin until the 20th, "real" Summer is here. We shared a lot of heat safety ideas during Extreme Heat Week, but there is more to summer than just warmth.

    Summer means vacation, outdoor activities, and fun in the sun! It’s a time when families hit the road to visit national parks or distant relatives. The warm months and long days mean that there is plenty of time for baseball games and barbecues. The sultry temperatures practically invite you to take a dip in the pool or ocean.

    But don’t let the sunny days and warm nights fool you. Summer also holds significant weather and water hazards. Heat waves can be lengthy and deadly. Lightning deaths are at their peak during the summer. Beach hazards such as rip currents can catch the unprepared. And, it’s the start of hurricane season.

    WRN-SummerThis summer, as Weather Ready Nation Ambassadors, we remind you that the the National Weather Service (NWS) wants you to be prepared for the following weather and water hazards:

  • Summer Sunday

    Summer Begins this Sunday.. are you ready?

    Summer-Sunday

    Summer-Sunday-2

     

  • Do you need to worry about Hurricane Preparedness this Year?

    This Hurricane Season is predicted to be "Normal" or slightly less than average risk of major Hurricanes, Tropical Storms and Cyclones. So do you still need to prepare? Yes. Always.

    The NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center is forecasting a near-normal or below-normal season.

    The main driver of this year’s outlook is the anticipated development of El Niño this summer. El Niño causes stronger wind shear, which reduces the number and intensity of tropical storms and hurricanes. El Niño can also strengthen the trade winds and increase the atmospheric stability across the tropical Atlantic, making it more difficult for cloud systems coming off of Africa to intensify into tropical storms.

    What does this mean for those living in Hurricane Zones? You still need to prepare for Hurricanes, but also plan on a HOT SUMMER!

    2014 Atlantic Hurricane Outlook graphic

    2014 Atlantic hurricane outlook. Download here (Credit:NOAA)

    Does this mean that this is a good year to plan your Summer Vacation on the Coast? Perhaps. That is really  up to you, but if you do, remember all your Beach Safety Precautions to keep the Family in good shape.

    Outdoor Protection/Preparedness

    The outlook calls for a 50 percent chance of a below-normal season, a 40 percent chance of a near-normal season, and only a 10 percent chance of an above-normal season.  For the six-month hurricane season, which begins June 1, NOAA predicts a 70 percent likelihood of 8 to 13 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which 3 to 6 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 1 to 2 major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5; winds of 111 mph or higher).

    These numbers are near or below the seasonal averages of 12 named storms, six hurricanes and three major hurricanes, based on the average from 1981 to 2010. The Atlantic hurricane region includes the North Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico.Prepper

    “Thanks to the environmental intelligence from NOAA’s network of earth observations, our scientists and meteorologists can provide life-saving products like our new storm surge threat map and our hurricane forecasts,” said Kathryn Sullivan, Ph.D., NOAA administrator. “And even though we expect El Niño to suppress the number of storms this season, it’s important to remember it takes only one land falling storm to cause a disaster.”

    Satellite view of Humberto, the first of only two Atlantic hurricanes in 2013.Humberto was the first of only two Atlantic hurricanes in 2013. It reached peak intensity, with top winds of 90 mph, in the far eastern Atlantic.

    Download here (Credit:NOAA)

    Gerry Bell, Ph.D., lead seasonal hurricane forecaster with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, said the Atlantic – which has seen above-normal seasons in 12 of the last 20 years – has been in an era of high activity for hurricanes since 1995. However, this high-activity pattern is expected to be offset in 2014 by the impacts of El Niño, and by cooler Atlantic Ocean temperatures than we’ve seen in recent years.

    “Atmospheric and oceanic conditions across the tropical Pacific are already taking on some El Niño characteristics. Also, we are currently seeing strong trade winds and wind shear over the tropical Atlantic, and NOAA’s climate models predict these conditions will persist, in part because of El Niño,” Bell said. “The expectation of near-average Atlantic Ocean temperatures this season, rather than the above-average temperatures seen since 1995, also suggests fewer Atlantic hurricanes.”

    NOAA is rolling out new tools at the National Hurricane Center this year. An experimental mapping tool will be used to show communities their storm surge flood threat. The map will be issued for coastal areas when a hurricane or tropical storm watch is first issued, or approximately 48 hours before the anticipated onset of tropical storm force winds. The map will show land areas where storm surge could occur and how high above ground the water could reach in those areas.

    Prepare! Prepare!

    Early testing on continued improvements to NOAA’s Hurricane Weather Research and Forecasting model (HWRF) shows a 10 percent improvement in this year's model compared to last year. Hurricane forecasters use the HWRF along with other models to produce forecasts and issue warnings.  The HWRF model is being adopted by a number of Western Pacific and Indian Ocean rim nations.

     NOAA’s seasonal hurricane outlook is not a hurricane landfall forecast; it does not predict how many storms will hit land or where a storm will strike. Forecasts for individual storms and their impacts will be provided throughout the season by NOAA’s National Hurricane Center.

    "It only takes one hurricane or tropical storm making landfall to have disastrous impacts on our communities," said Joe Nimmich, FEMA associate administrator for Response and Recovery. "Just last month, Pensacola, Florida saw five inches of rain in 45 minutes – without a tropical storm or hurricane. We need you to be ready. Know your risk for hurricanes and severe weather, take action now to be prepared and be an example for others in your office, school or community. Learn more about how to prepare for hurricanes at www.ready.gov/hurricanes."

    Next week, May 25-31, is National Hurricane Preparedness Week. To help those living in hurricane-prone areas prepare, NOAA offers hurricane preparedness tips, along with video and audio public service announcements in both English and Spanish, featuring NOAA hurricane experts and the FEMA Administrator at www.hurricanes.gov/prepare.

    NOAA’s outlook for the Eastern Pacific basin is for a near-normal or above-normal hurricane season, and the Central Pacific basin is also expected to have a near-normal or above-normal season. NOAA will issue an updated outlook for the Atlantic hurricane season in early August, just prior to the historical peak of the season.

  • Nine Dangers at the Beach - Rip Currents | Shorebreak | Lightning | Tsunamis | Sharks | Jellyfish | Heat and Sunburn | Harmful Algal Blooms | Water Quality

    Trips to the beach aren't always fun in the sun. From strong currents and dangerous marine life, to lightning and contaminated water, plan your visit to the beach this summer with the following safety tips in mind. NOAA Safety Information on: Rip Currents | Shorebreak | Lightning | Tsunamis | Sharks | Jellyfish | Heat and Sunburn | Harmful Algal Blooms |  Water  Quality

    Rip Currents

    Quahogs collected during a surfclam and ocean quahog research survey. Smooth water located between breaking waves could signal the presence of a rip current.
    Rip currents account for more than 80 percent of rescues performed by surf beach lifeguards. They are powerful, channeled currents of water flowing away from shore that quickly pull swimmers out to sea. Rip currents typically extend from the shoreline, through the surf zone, and past the line of breaking waves. The best way to stay safe is to recognize the danger of rip currents. If caught in one, don't fight it! Swim parallel to the shore and swim back to land at an angle. Always remember to swim at beaches with lifeguards.

    Shorebreak

    This image shows cysts of Alexandrium fundyenseShorebreak have caused serious injury and death to both experienced and inexperienced bodysurfers and swimmers.
    A shorebreak is an ocean condition when waves break directly on the shore. Both small and high waves can be equally as unpredictable and dangerous and typically form when there is a rapid transition from deep to shallow water.

    The power of a shorebreak can cause injuries to extremities and the cervical spine. Spinal cord injuries most often occur when diving headfirst into the water or being tumbled in the waves by the force of the waves. Be sure to ask a lifeguard about the wave conditions before going into the water.

    Lightning

    Lightning strikes over a cityThere is no safe place outside when thunderstorms are in the area. If you hear thunder, you are likely within striking distance of the storm.
    Since 2000, an average of 38 people have been killed annually by lightning in the United States. Already in 2013, seven people have died due to lightning strikes. There is no safe place outside when thunderstorms are in the area. When thunder roars, go indoors!  The safest places during lightning activity are substantial buildings and hard-topped vehicles. Rain shelters, small sheds, and open vehicles are not safe.  Wait 30 minutes after the last thunder crack before going back to the beach. Lightning Kills.

    Tsunamis

    Tsunamis are most commonly generated by earthquakes in coastal regions. This map shows wave height in the Pacific Ocean related to the 2010 Japan tsuanmi.
    tsunami is a series of ocean waves generated by any rapid large-scale disturbance of the sea water. Most tsunamis are generated by earthquakes, but they may also be caused by volcanic eruptions, landslides, undersea slumps, or meteor impacts. The tsunami wave may come gently ashore or may increase in height to become a fast moving wall of turbulent water several meters high. Although we can’t prevent a tsunami, the effects can be reduced through community preparedness, timely warnings, and effective response.

    Sharks

    This image shows cysts of Alexandrium fundyenseOnly about a dozen of the more than 300 species of sharks have been involved in attacks on humans. Despite their reputation, they would much rather feed on fish and marine mammals.
    Shark attacks, though rare, are most likely to occur near shore, typically inshore of a sandbar or between sandbars, where sharks can become trapped by low tide, and near steep drop offs where shark’s prey gather. The relative risk of a shark attack is very small, but should always be minimized whenever possible. To reduce your risk:

    • Don’t swim too far from shore
    • Stay in groups – sharks are more likely to attack a solitary individual
    • Avoid being in the water during darkness or twilight when sharks are most active
    • Don’t go in the water if bleeding from a wound – sharks have a very acute sense of smell
    • Leave the shiny jewelry at home – the reflected light resembles fish scales
    • Avoid brightly-colored swimwear – sharks see contrast particularly well

    Jellyfish

    Shrimp riding a jellyfish in Gray's Reef National Marine Sancuary.Jellyfish have the ability to sting with their tentacles. While the severity of stings varies in humans, most jellyfish stings result only in minor discomfort.
    Keep an eye out for jellyfish. All jellyfish sting, but not all have venom that hurts humans. Of the 2,000 species of jellyfish, only about 70 seriously harm or may occasionally kill people.

    When on the beach, take note of jellyfish warning signs. Be careful around jellies washed up on the sand as some still sting if their tentacles are wet. Tentacles torn off a jellyfish can sting, too.

    If you are stung, don't rinse with water, which could release more poison. Lifeguards usually give first aid for stings. Bring a Jellyfish treatment product to the beach with you if you won't be near a Lifeguard. See a doctor if you have an allergic reaction.

    Excessive Heat and Sunburn

    This image shows cysts of Alexandrium fundyenseSunburn can be prevented by covering up, taking shelter, and using sunscreen.
    Too much heat and sun can spoil a vacation. Heat is the leading weather-related killer in the United States, causing more deaths than floods, lightning, tornadoes, and hurricanes combined. Heat disorder symptoms include sunburn, heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke.

    Spending the day at the beach can lead to any of these disorders but the most visible is sunburn, which can take up to 24 hours before the full damage is visible. The two most common types of burns are first degree and second degree burns resulting in redness and even blisters.

    When a burn is severe, accompanied by a headache, chills, or a fever, seek medical help right away. Be sure to protect your skin from the sun while it heals.

    Harmful Algal Blooms

    This image shows cysts of Alexandrium fundyenseThis deep red harmful algae, called Lingulodinium polyedrum, often produces brightly colored water discoloration. It has been associated with fish and shellfish mortality events, but its threat to human health is still being evaluated.
    Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) (popularly referred to as red tides) are dense populations or "blooms" of algae that form in coastal waters. A small percentage of these blooms can be toxic to marine animals and humans. People can get sick by swimming directly in the water and by eating contaminated shellfish. If a sufficient amount of toxins are ingested, the results can be fatal.

    Currently, the combination of satellite imagery, buoy data, and field observations allow scientists to forecast the timing and location of blooms. This allows coastal managers and public health officials to make decisions regarding shellfish harvesting and beach closures to ensure the health of both residents and visitors.

    Water Quality

    beach closure signNOAA's beach and water quality predictions are now available in real-time for Michigan's Lake St. Clair. This will allow the local beach managers and area officials to make timely public health decisions regarding E. coli contamination and beach closures.
    Coastal beaches are among the most treasured natural resources in the nation, but beach closures or advisories caused by poor water quality often prevent the public from enjoying these resources. As water flows from land to coastal waters, it is often contaminated by untreated sewage from boats, pets, failing septic systems, fertilizers, and spills from hazardous substances.

    High levels of bacteria and other chemicals in the water can cause gastrointestinal illnesses in those that swim directly in the water. When visiting the beach, be aware of all beach closures and advisories.  leaf

  • Be prepared for summer safety — learn CPR

    If a family member, friend or infant in your care had a cardiac event or required first aid, could you recognize the signs of a medical emergency and respond quickly and appropriately?

    This summer season, everyone should be prepared for summer safety by learning CPR. With the swimming season and hot weather upon us, people should be prepared to act in case of a medical emergency.

    Accidents, choking and drowning are leading causes of death in children. Every day, about ten people die from unintentional drowning, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

    Of these, two out of the ten are children aged 14 or younger. Children ages 1 to 4 have the highest drowning rates. The fatal drowning rate of African American children ages 5 to 14 is almost three times that of white children in the same age range.

    Learning CPR can help save lives in cases of drowning. Pool safety like locking gates and monitoring children near pools and bodies of water are key to preventing drowning. Children and beginner swimmers should take swimming lessons and never swim alone.

    CPR is also vital when sudden cardiac arrest — a leading cause of death in America — strikes without warning. Nearly 360,000 out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrests (SCA) occur annually in the United States.

    It is rare for victims of SCA to survive unless a bystander starts CPR before emergency rescuers arrive. Unfortunately, less than one-third of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest victims receive bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and less than 5 percent survive.

    Learn CPR! It's easy. Learn CPR! It's easy.

    Everyone needs to know CPR - and it is not expensive to learn. American CPR Training™ teaches group classes at your location from as low as $16.50 per Student for full 2 year Adult, Child & Infant CPR - anywhere in the USA!

    or if you don't have a group of 4 or more, they have an awesome program to learn CPR at Home (including CPR Manikins!)

    The national group American CPR Training™ (www.AmericanCPR.com) is teaching their new easy C.A.R.E. CPR™ Their website says:
    American CPR Training™ ~ America's Favorite CPR, AED & First Aid Training™ is more than just the Leader in Safety Training throughout the US, Canada, & Mexico... American CPR Training is ½ the Time, ½ the Price, and TWICE the Fun!™

  • Grilling safety tips

    Barbecues are fun Holiday Weekend Traditions... be Safe while you enjoy!

    Use soap and water to check for leaks at propane connections before you even turn on the gas, the Department said. If you have a charcoal grill, make sure there are no holes in the bottom.

    With any grill, use utensils with long handles, and keep kids and pets away from the fire.

    "It can be very dangerous business," said Greg Buelow with the Cedar Rapids Fire Department. "We want people to have fun, but there's some simple rules that we just discussed that people can follow to make sure it's a fun activity."

    The fire department also says grills should never be left unattended and charcoal should be put into a metal container with a lid after cooking, not a plastic garbage bin.

    General Grilling Safety

    With more Americans lighting their grills than ever before, it’s important to remember that a fun barbecue is a safe barbecue.

    The following safety tips are designed to guide you through the grilling process. Remember, anytime you work with fire, there’s a chance of getting burned. So, take precautions. Common sense and planning will prevent injuries.

      • Read the owner's manual.
        Always read the owner's manual before using your grill and follow specific usage, assembly, and safety procedures. Contact the grill manufacturer if you have specific questions. (Be sure to locate your model number and the manufacturer’s consumer inquiry phone number and write them on the front page of your manual.)
      • Grills are for outside, only.
      • Barbecue grills are designed for outdoor use, only. Never barbecue in your trailer, tent, house, garage, or any enclosed area because carbon monoxide may accumulate and kill you.
      • Use in well-ventilated area.
      • Set up your grill in an open area that is away from buildings, overhead combustible surfaces, dry leaves, or brush. Be sure to avoid high traffic areas and always barbecue in a well-ventilated area. Be aware of wind-blown sparks.
      • Keep grill stable.
      • When using a barbecue grill, be sure that all parts of the unit are firmly in place and that the grill is stable (can’t be tipped over).
      • Follow electric codes.
      • If electrically-operated accessories are used (rotisseries, etc.), be sure they are properly grounded in accordance with local codes. Electrical cords should be placed away from walkways or anywhere people can trip over them.
      • Use long-handled utensils.
      • Use barbecue utensils with long handles (forks, tongs, etc.) to avoid burns and splatters.
      • Wear safe clothing.
      • Wear clothing that does not have hanging shirt tails, frills, or apron strings that can catch fire, and use flame-retardant mitts when adjusting hot vents.
      • Keep fire under control.
      • To put out flare-ups, either raise the grid that the food is on, spread the coals out evenly, or adjust the controls to lower the temperature. If you must douse the flames with a light spritz of water, first remove the food from the grill.
      • Be ready to extinguish flames.
      • Use baking soda to control a grease fire and have a fire extinguisher handy. A bucket of sand or a garden hose should be near if you don’t have a commercial extinguisher.
      • Consider placing a grill pad or splatter mat beneath your grill.
      • These naturally heat resistant pads are usually made of lightweight composite cement or plastic and will protect your deck or patio from any grease that misses the drip pan.
      • Never leave a grill unattended once lit.
      • Stay away from hot grill.
      • Don’t allow anyone to conduct activity near the grill when in use or immediately following its use. The grill body remains hot up to an hour after being used.
      • Don’t move a hot grill.
      • Never attempt to move a hot grill. It’s easy to stumble or drop it and serious burns could result.
      • Read about Food Safety

    BBQThese tips are not intended to be an exhaustive review of safety guidelines and should not be interpreted as precluding other procedures which would enhance safe barbecue grill operations. Issuance of these safety tips should not be construed as an undertaking to perform services on behalf of any party either for their protection or the protection of third parties. First Aid Mart & The Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association assumes no liability for reliance on the contents of this information.

        Fact Sheet on Grilling Safety

    Are you stocked up on Burn First Aid Products? Are you stocked up on Burn First Aid Products?
  • Happy First Day of Summer! Be Safe and Have FUN!

    Summer Safety Survival Guide: 10 Tips to Keep Your Family Safe

    Summer Safety Summer Safety

    Summer is the time for outdoor cookouts, pool parties and backyard play dates – not a time for bandaging scrapes, nursing burns – or worse. Learn these important summer safety tips and make sure everyone in your family knows them by heart too. That way, it will be a summer to remember, for all the right reasons.

    Pool Safety

    1. Supervise constantly: Good supervision means you are able to scan the pool area every 20 seconds and be able to reach the pool in 10 seconds.
    2. Put multiple safety barriers between children and the pool: Install a four-foot fence with a self-closing, self-latching gate that has a locking mechanism beyond a child’s reach. Also cut overhanging tree limbs and remove chairs or ladders from the pool area to prevent children from climbing over the fence surrounding the pool.
    3. Always check the pool first if a child is missing: Child drowning is often a silent death that alerts no one with splashes or yells for help. Many drowning accidents happen when children have been missing for less than five minutes.
    4. Empty small wading pools and remove all toys after children are through playing: Infants can drown in just a few inches of water. Floats, balls and other toys may attract children to the pool when it is unattended.

    Backyard Safety

    1. Keep grills at least 10 feet from any structure: Grilling mishaps cause more than 8,300 fires and send 3,000 people to the emergency room each year. Never grill indoors or near garages or porches, even if it’s raining.
    2. Have a spray bottle or fire extinguisher handy: An unexpected flare up can burn more than your burgers. Use a spray bottle to avoid flare ups and have a fire extinguisher nearby. Also, coals get hot – in some cases up to 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit – so dispose of charcoal away from kids and pets and cool it down with a hose.
    3. Never use gasoline or kerosene to light a charcoal fire: Both can cause an explosion. When grilling, use insulated, flame-retardant mitts and long-handled barbeque tongs and utensils to handle food and coals.
    4. Check gas grill hoses for cracking, brittleness, holes and leaks: If the tank valve or grill needs repair, do not attempt to do it yourself. Take it to your local home improvement store or qualified appliance repair person.
    5. Inspect outdoor decorative lights carefully: Some families add backyard ambience with outdoor decorative lighting. Do not connect more than three midget light string sets together. Light strings with screw-in bulbs should have a maximum of 50 bulbs connected together. Be sure to use light strings bearing the UL Mark, which means UL has tested samples of the product for risk of fire, electric shock and other hazards.

    Playground Safety

    1. Carefully inspect backyard playground equipment: According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, 70 percent of all playground-related deaths occur on home playground equipment. Make sure equipment is anchored safely in the ground, all equipment pieces are in good working order, S-hooks are entirely closed and bolts are not protruding.

    Article Courtesy of Safety at Home

    Remember your First Aid Kit, Insect Repellent & Sunscreen

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