NOUS41 KWBC 211140
Public Information Notice
National Weather Service Headquarters Washington DC
740 AM EDT Tue May 21 2013
-Family of Services
-NOAA Weather Wire Service
-Emergency Managers Weather Information Network
-Other NWS Partners and NWS Employees
From: Eli Jacks
Chief, Fire and Public Weather Services Branch
Subject: Excessive Heat and Sun Safety Guidance for
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:
In addition, a variety of information relating to excessive heat
is available on the NOAAWatch Website via the "Excessive Heat"
and on the NWS heat safety page at:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
The partners offer the following heat wave and UV safety tips to
1. Slow down. Strenuous work or recreational activities should
be reduced, eliminated, or rescheduled to the coolest time of the
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
7. Check the UV Index to plan outdoor activities in ways that
prevent overexposure to the sun. Avoid sunburns and intentional
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
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
301-713-1867 ext. 135
National Public Information Notices are online at: