Extreme weather can lead to heightened healthcare risks, damage to infrastructure and personal property. Extreme weather includes extreme heat, cold, precipitation and wind events. The following links are helpful in gathering current information and resources available during an extreme weather event.
The following link provides weather alerts by location and provides forecasts with possible weather related events. Locations can be searched by city or zip code to get detailed forecasts. Other weather related events such as air quality can be viewed at https://www.weather.gov/.
Cold events presents different challenges. This link provides helpful tips to prepare and react to dangers of a winter storm.
Frost Advisories - These are issued when widespread frost may occur. Frost advisories are not issued after the first freeze event of the winter until spring bloom begins. Although warm-season plants may die with the first frost, there are no frost warnings because frost damage is generally cosmetic to cold season crops.
Freeze Warnings - These are issued for areas with significant commercial agriculture whenever the first freeze of the winter is expected. The first freeze is defined as "when minimum shelter temperature is forecast to be 32 degrees or less during the locally defined growing season."
Flood Warning - a Flood Warning is issued when flooding is happening or will happen soon. Move to higher ground.
Flood Watch - a Flood Watch is issued when there is a potential for a flood. Prepare to evacuate and follow news for more information.
Prolonged exposure to freezing temperatures can cause frostbite to exposed skin, typically fingers, toes, ear lobes, or the tip of the nose. Increased winds, causing a wind chill effect, can further lower body temperatures at a faster rate. Hypothermia is another cold-related issue when the core body temperature drops below 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Medical attention is needed immediately for this condition.
Cold weather can also be dangerous to small animals that are not acclimated to cold weather (typically indoor pets). Hypothermia and dehydration are the two most probable life-threatening conditions for animals in cold weather. In general, animals tend to drink less in cold weather risking dehydration, or their typical watering sources can be frozen. Wet conditions and wind chill can add significantly to the cold-stress for animals as well. Particular attention should be paid to very young and old animals, as they may be less able to tolerate temperature extremes and have weaker immune systems.
A warming center is a short-term emergency shelter that operates when temperatures or a combination of precipitation, winds, and temperature become dangerously inclement. Their paramount purpose is the prevention of death and injury from exposure to the elements.
Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a poisonous, colorless, odorless and tasteless gas. Although it has no detectable odor, CO is often mixed with other gases that do have an odor. You can inhale carbon monoxide right along with gases that you can smell and not even know that CO is present. Carbon monoxide is harmful when breathed because it displaces oxygen in the blood and deprives the heart, brain and other vital organs of oxygen. Large amounts of CO can overcome you in minutes without warning — causing you to lose consciousness and suffocate. Household appliances, such as gas fires, boilers, central heating systems, water heaters, cookers, and open fires that use gas, oil, coal and wood may be possible sources of CO gas. It happens when the fuel does not burn fully.
What can you do if you suspect that someone has been poisoned with CO?
When you suspect CO poisoning, promptly taking the following actions can save lives:
Heat specific events can be monitored with the following link. A legend with descriptions is provided on this link to the National Weather Service - HeatRisk Pages.
Places where citizens can escape excessive heat during the day are referred to as Cooling Zones. These are areas that are commonly open to the general public, and have places to sit down where there is air conditioning. Cooling zones do not typically have services for water. Several cooling zones have been identified throughout the county. Many of these areas are generally open during the hottest part of the day. Some areas may only operate if certain conditions are met. This link will provide an address to cooling zones and the most recent list of their operational hours. These hours are subject to change based upon business needs, so we recommend phoning ahead.
When heat become excessive, for several days, Cooling Centers may be opened. These are centers where people can escape the heat, and have access to drinking water and perhaps other services. When these are open, the main home page of this web site will provide a list of these services.
For extreme heat, visit the following for helpful hints on how you can better handle heat at home or work.