In case you didn't know, summer officially begins this week. With temperatures possibly getting into triple digits in some parts of the state, however, Mother Nature is providing us a reminder.
In Hillsborough, temperatures are expected to reach 96 degrees on Wednesday and 98 on Thursday, with only a little relief come Friday. With those high temps, residents are being urged to stay safe in the hot weather.
"High temperatures and humid conditions have the possibility of making outdoor activities and non air-conditioned facilities extremely dangerous and uncomfortable," State Police Superintendent Col. Rick Fuentes said in a release.
Fuentes, who also serves as the state's director of the Office of Emergency Management, said the excessive heat can cause a variety of health issues for people of all ages. They can include "heat cramps, heat exhaustion, heat stroke and sometimes death." He added, "These threats can be minimized and eliminated if we practice heat-related precautions and guidelines."
New Jersey Health and Senior Services Commissioner Mary E. O'Dowd said the risk is especially high for the elderly and children. "Hot, dry skin, an absence of sweat and a rapid and strong pulse are all signs of heat stroke," she said. "If you have elderly family members, friends or neighbors, be sure to check in on them to make sure they are keeping cool, especially if they live alone."
There are several basic steps people can take to ensure their safety during the hot weather provided by Fuentes and O'Dowd. Among them are:
- Stay indoors in air conditioning as much as possible.
- If you do go outside stay in the shade.
- If your home is not air conditioned, spend at least two hours daily at an air-conditioned mall, library or other public place.
- Wear sunscreen outside, along with loose-fitting, light-colored clothes that cover as much skin as possible
- Drink water regularly even if you are not thirsty. Limit alcohol and sugary drinks that speed dehydration.
- Never leave children or pets alone in the car.
- Avoid exertion during the hottest part of the day.
- Take a cool shower or bath.
- Be a good neighbor, check on elderly and people with disabilities in your community who may need assistance keeping cool.
Residents also are encouraged to contact their local and county authorities to find out about cooling stations in their town.