Thursday, June 28, 2012

EMA Director Scotty Hancock: Extreme heat deadly; take steps to protect family, self

Media reelase: A scorching heat wave will arrive in earnest this weekend, with temperatures expected to soar into the triple digits in many parts of Georgia. Extreme heat is the No. 1 weather-related killer in the U.S, claiming approximately 400 lives across the nation, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, so it is best to prepare now to reduce your risk of heat-related illness.

"Extreme heat can be dangerous and deadly, particularly for the elderly and infants, but staying indoors and drinking plenty of water will help you stay cool and hydrated when temperatures rise," says Floyd County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) Director Scotty Hancock.

To help families prepare, Ready Georgia, a statewide emergency preparedness campaign created by the Georgia Emergency Management Agency/Homeland Security offers the tools needed to make an emergency supply kit, develop a communications plan and stay informed about potential threats. Visitors to Ready Georgia's website can create an online profile to receive a tailored plan for the entire family that includes the specific amount of supplies to put in their household Ready kits. In addition, Ready Georgia's free mobile app provides alerts and preparedness information for people on-the-go.

Floyd County and Ready Georgia also give these 10 tips to ensure a safe summer for every family:

Insulate your home by installing weather stripping around your doors and window sills to keep the cool air inside.

Stay indoors in air-conditioned spaces as much as possible and limit exposure to the sun.

Dress in loose-fitting, lightweight and light-colored clothes that cover as much skin as possible.

Familiarize yourself with the medical conditions that can result from over-exposure to heat, including heat exhaustion and heat stroke to help lessen health threats and harm.

Avoid strenuous work during the warmest part of the day. Use a buddy system when working in extreme heat, and take frequent breaks.

Never leave children or pets alone in closed vehicles.

Postpone outdoor activities and take shelter in a home, building or hard top automobile if severe weather is headed your way.

Make sure pets have plenty of water and shade, be careful to not over-exercise them, and keep them indoors when it's extremely hot.

Conserve water in your household to help prevent drought: wash only full loads of dishes and laundry, fix household leaks and install low-flow toilets and showerheads.

Closely monitor a local radio station, TV station or NOAA Weather Radio for the latest information on excessive heat watches and warnings.

For more information, contact Floyd County EMA at 706-236-5002 or visit

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