Monthly Safety Tip from your Black Hawk College Safety Committee
June is National Safety Month
In June, we can see a variety of weather conditions including heat, severe storm warnings and possibly tornado watches. The National Weather Service and our TV and radio news channels keep us informed. We need to know what is happening around us and how to protect ourselves.
High Heat Temperature
High heat can lead to heat exhaustion. The 10-year average for heat-related deaths in the United States is 115 per year. Heat exhaustion is caused by an increase in core body temperature and is often coupled with fluid loss (dehydration). Heat exhaustion can also be caused by exertion. Signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion include, weakness, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, warm, moist and pale skin.
If you believe someone is suffering from heat exhaustion, make sure he/she is moved to a cooler environment immediately and provided with plenty of liquids. If the person is vomiting or unconscious, call 911 immediately as heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke if not treated in time.
Don’t forget your pets. If the outside temperature is over 60 degrees, you should never leave your pet in your car, even if the window is cracked. Keep them hydrated and in a cool location.
If severe weather is expected, check for additional information. Storms can bring lightening, hail and strong damaging winds. Lightning often precedes rain, so don’t wait for the rain to begin before suspending activities. Activities should be suspended for 30 minutes after the last observed lightning or thunder.
If you are outside, avoid water, high ground, open spaces and all metal objects. Seek shelter in a substantial sized building or in a fully enclosed vehicle with completely closed windows. Canopies, rain shelters and trees are a bad idea. If you’re outside avoid proximity to other people (minimum of 15 ft.). Put your feet together, place your hands over your ears and crouch down. Do not lay flat.
If you are indoors, avoid water and stay away from doors and windows. Turn off, unplug and stay away from appliances, and all electronics including power tools, telephones, headsets and TV’s. Your chance of being struck by lightning is 1 in 3,000; unfortunately, it can happen.
Tornadoes kill approximately 56 people a year and are considered a summer phenomenon; however, there is no start or end date. A tornado is a low probability, high impact event. Even though the chance of you experiencing a tornado is small, be prepared.
No matter where you are – get in, get down and cover up! Stay away from doors, windows and outside walls. If you can’t go below, get as low as possible and use whatever you have to protect your head and body from flying objects. If you are in your car, do not leave it.
Have a safety plan in place and know your emergency telephone numbers. Consider first aid training.