NORTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - The National Weather Service (NWS) and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) have issued a Heat Advisory and a Code Orange Air Quality Alert for Sunday, July 19, continuing into Monday.
A heat advisory means that a period of hot temperatures is expected and is issued when the combination of heat and humidity is expected to make it feel like it is at least 95° for two consecutive days or if heat index values reach 100°to 104°.
A Code Orange Alert Day is called when air pollution levels are predicted to become "Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups."
Code Orange levels are between 101 and 150 on the Air Quality Index. When this happens, active children, older adults, and people with lung disease, such as asthma ,should limit prolonged outdoor exertion.
Sensitive Groups can experience symptoms including: irritation to the eyes, nose and throat, reduced lung function (the amount of oxygen taken in is less than usual),asthma can be aggravated, lungs can become inflamed and the lung lining can become damaged, and the risk of developing lung illnesses increases.
To avoid heat-related illness:
If possible, stay out of the sun.
Drink plenty of fluids, especially water, even if you do not feel thirsty.
Your body needs water to keep cool.
Avoid beverages containing alcohol or caffeine.
Avoid strenuous activity, especially during the sun's peak hours - 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Cool down with repeated cool baths or showers.
When in the sun, wear sunscreen (at least SPF 15)
Dress in lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
Never leave children, seniors, or pets in a parked car.
Make a special effort to check on neighbors, especially seniors and those with special needs.
The early warning signs of heat stress are decreased energy, slight loss of appetite, faintness, light-headedness and nausea. People experiencing these symptoms should go to a cool environment, drink liquids, remove excess clothing and rest.
For information on New Jersey cooling centers, visit: www.state.nj.us/njoem.