Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Pager 302-357-7498
Date: June 15, 2015
DOVER (June 15, 2015) - Do you have a heat wave plan? Heat ranks among the top weather-related killers in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) advises Delawareans to expect more heat waves, when temperatures exceed 95 degrees. Climate change is causing the average high temperature to increase and for there to be longer and more frequent periods of extreme heat. Our bodies have less chance to recover during hot days and warm nights, placing everyone at risk for heat illness. When temperatures and humidity are high, sweat ceases to evaporate and the body's natural cooling system slows down or shuts down completely. Very hot weather can cause heat exhaustion, heat stroke, and severe respiratory conditions, which can be fatal.
Extreme heat especially endangers seniors, young children, people with disabilities, and individuals with breathing conditions and other chronic medical conditions, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and other respiratory and cardiovascular problems. Those without air-conditioning, fans, or access to cooling shelters are also at risk.
DPH recommends that every household have a heat wave plan in case of power outages. Have air conditioners serviced and obtain electric fans now. Keep cases of bottled water on hand. Listen to news reports of the location of community 'cooling centers' -- often public libraries or churches -- so household members know where they are located if the power goes out. During extreme heat days, Delawareans should check on their vulnerable family members and neighbors.
Delaware 2-1-1 connects Delawareans with critical services and supports. Eligible callers can receive referrals to summer cooling and crisis assistance, the City of Wilmington's Free Electric Fan Program for seniors, and nearby cooling centers.
Tips to prevent heat illness:
Heed the following heat danger warning signs and take suggested actions:
For more information, visit the CDC at cdc.gov/extremeheat/warning.html.
A person who is deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind, or speech-disabled can call the DPH phone number above by using TTY services. Dial 7-1-1 or 800-232-5460 to type your conversation to a relay operator, who reads your conversation to a hearing person at DPH. The relay operator types the hearing person's spoken words back to the TTY user. To learn more about TTY availability in Delaware, visit delawarerelay.com.
Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations. DPH, a division of DHSS, urges Delawareans to make healthier choices with the 5-2-1 Almost None campaign: eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables each day, have no more than 2 hours of recreational screen time each day (includes TV, computer, gaming), get 1 or more hours of physical activity each day, drink almost no sugary beverages.
Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.