NOUS41 KWBC 211140

PNSWSH

 

Public Information Notice

National Weather Service Headquarters Washington DC

740 AM EDT Tue May 21 2013

 

To:       Subscribers:

          -Family of Services

          -NOAA Weather Wire Service

          -Emergency Managers Weather Information Network

          -NOAAPORT

          -Other NWS Partners and NWS Employees

 

From:     Eli Jacks

          Chief, Fire and Public Weather Services Branch

 

Subject:  Excessive Heat and Sun Safety Guidance for

          2013 Season

 

This Friday, May 24, 2013, has been declared national "Don’t Fry

Day" by the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention (NCSCP).

Don't Fry Day encourages sun safety awareness by reminding

everyone to protect their skin while enjoying the outdoors.

 

Again this year, NWS is pleased to partner with the Environmental

Protection Agency (EPA), the Occupational Safety and Health

Administration (OSHA), the Centers for Disease Control and

Prevention (CDC), and NCSCP on this campaign to alert the public

to the importance of practicing sun-safe behaviors.  The

partnering agencies also wish to alert the public to the dangers

of extreme heat and the need to ensure protection from

ultraviolet (UV) radiation.

 

Heat and UV radiation are silent killers that do not have the

same visual impact as other weather hazards such as tornadoes and

hurricanes.  Furthermore, high UV Index values can occur when it

is not particularly hot.  Even on a cloudy day, you can get

sunburn from UV radiation.

 

Last summer was the third warmest U.S. summer on record. More

than 80 million people experienced 10 or more days of 100 degree

Fahrenheit or warmer temperatures during the heat wave of 2012. 

Heat is one of the leading weather-related killers in this

country, resulting in hundreds of fatalities per year.

 

Skin cancer, which can develop from overexposure to UV radiation,

is the most common form of cancer in the United States.  More

than 3.5 million new cases of skin cancers are diagnosed in more

than 2.2 million people annually.

 

Preventive measures can be taken to avoid the harmful effects of

excessive heat and UV radiation.  The first step is to be aware

of existing heat and UV radiation forecasts and other

information.  Here is a listing of available resources:

 

NWS: Heat-related Watch, Warning, and Advisory (WWA) products are

sent to NWS’ partners and the public whenever NWS expects

excessive heat events.  These products can be accessed at:

 

  www.weather.gov

 

In addition, a variety of information relating to excessive heat

is available on the NOAAWatch Website via the "Excessive Heat"

tab at:

 

  http://www.noaawatch.gov/themes/heat.php

 

and on the NWS heat safety page at:

 

  http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/heat/index.shtml

 

These Websites provide details on the definitions and intended

usage of NWS heat-related products, an explanation of the Heat

Index and how it is used in NWS forecast operations, and safety

tips for staying safe in the summer heat and sun.  Additional

information on summer safety, and the associated impacts of

excessive heat and sun on the human body is provided via our

partners’ links cited below.

 

EPA: Hourly updates of the UV Index and associated sun safety

steps are available at EPA’s Website at:

 

  http://www2.epa.gov/sunwise

 

NWS is providing a national forecast map depicting elevated and

"alert" UV levels for the mid-day period around the contiguous 48

states as an experimental product on the Climate Prediction

Center Website at:

 

  www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/stratosphere/uv_index/uv_alert.shtml

 

EPA’s UV Index Website also provides users with the capability to

access their local UV Index by zip code and to receive automated

UV Alerts via email during Alert periods when UV radiation is

anomalously high for a particular location.  EPA also offers the

UV Index as a smart phone application at:

 

  http://www.epa.gov/enviro/mobile/

 

An Excessive Heat Events Guidebook, developed by the EPA in 2006

in collaboration with the NWS, CDC, and the Department of

Homeland Security, provides guidance communities can use to

develop mitigation plans.  This guidebook is online at:

 

  http://www.epa.gov/heatisland/about/heatguidebook.html

 

OSHA: For the third consecutive year, OSHA is conducting a

nationwide campaign to educate workers and employers about the

hazards of working in the heat and steps needed to prevent heat-

related illnesses.  Since the campaign began in 2011, OSHA has

reached more than 7.5 million people on this important issue.

 

This summer, the agency hopes to reach even more people with a

simple, life-saving message: "Water. Rest. Shade."  OSHA has

significantly increased outreach to workers with limited English

proficiency and has created resources targeted to this audience. 

OSHA’s heat-related publications, including fact sheets, training

guides, community posters and quick cards, as well as a Heat App,

are available in both English and Spanish.  For the latest

information on the 2013 Campaign, go to OSHA’s web site at:

 

  http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/heatillness/index.html

 

NWS and OSHA are also partnering to increase awareness for

outdoor workers and their employers during excessive heat events. 

NWS will continue including specific outdoor worker safety

precautions within its Heat Advisories and Excessive Heat

Warnings this summer.

 

CDC: Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United

States, and the majority of these cancers are caused by exposure

to UV radiation. Skin cancer risk can be reduced by seeking

shade, wearing protective clothing, using sunscreen with broad

spectrum (UVA and UVB rays) protection and Sun Protection Factor

(SPF) 15 or higher, and avoiding tanning beds. CDC provides

leadership for nationwide efforts to reduce illness and death

caused by skin cancer through education, surveillance, and

research efforts. Information on skin cancer statistics,

prevention, and CDC’s skin cancer initiatives is available at:

 

  http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/skin/

 

NCSCP:  The National Council is an umbrella organization that

includes 45 major national groups dedicated to preventing skin

cancer, including the American Academy of Dermatology, the

American Cancer Society, the Melanoma Research Foundation, and

the Skin Cancer Foundation, as well as federal agency partners

and many smaller family foundations devoted to disease

prevention. Specific tips on preventing skin cancer as well as

more than 35 "Don’t Fry Day" resources, including media guides,

posters, graphics, and an "Action Kit for Meteorologists" are

available at the National Council’s Website at:

 

  http://www.skincancerprevention.org

 

The partners offer the following heat wave and UV safety tips to

the public:

 

1.  Slow down.  Strenuous work or recreational activities should

be reduced, eliminated, or rescheduled to the coolest time of the

day.

 

2.  Get acclimated.  Gradually increase outdoor work and

recreational activities so your body adjusts to hot conditions.

 

3.  Dress in lightweight clothing, and wear UV-blocking

sunglasses and a hat with at least a 2 to 3-inch brim all around.

 

4.  Drink plenty of water or other non-alcoholic fluids. 

Drinking alcoholic beverages should be avoided.

 

5.  Do not take salt tablets unless directed by a physician.

 

6.  Take frequent breaks during work or play.  Spend more time in

air-conditioned places and seek shade outside, especially during

midday hours.

 

7.  Check the UV Index to plan outdoor activities in ways that

prevent overexposure to the sun.  Avoid sunburns and intentional

tanning.

 

9.  Generously apply sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher that provides

broad spectrum (both UVA and UVB rays) protection.

 

10. Seek shade whenever you can.

 

11. Know what the signs and symptoms or heat illness are – check

on workers, particularly those wearing protective suits.

 

Elderly persons, small children, chronic invalids, those on

certain medications or drugs, outdoor workers, persons with

weight and alcohol problems and caretakers for these people

should pay especially close attention to the above tips, 

particularly during heat waves in areas where excessive heat is

rare.

 

Educate yourself on the dangers of overexposure to the sun and

excessive heat, and what preventive measures to take to avoid

skin cancer and heat-related illnesses or deaths.

 

You can help save lives.

 

For further information, please contact:

 

  Jannie G. Ferrell

  jannie.g.ferrell@noaa.gov

  301-713-1867 ext. 135

 

National Public Information Notices are online at:

 

  http://www.weather.gov/os/notif.htm

 

$$