Environmental Services Program

Summer Safety and Health Tips

Health and Safety | Summer Safety and Health Tips |
Winter Safety and Health Tips | Health and Safety Through the Year


Spring is here. This means more field work or outside activities. Being outdoors means more chances of being bit by a tick. Below is the latest press release today from the Center for Disease Control on a new tick borne virus.  As a reminder:

To reduce the risk of Heartland and other vector-borne diseases, CDC recommends that people:

  • Avoid wooded and bushy areas with high grass and leaf litter (not really an option for field staff, but if you can avoid, do so).
  • Use insect repellent when outdoors (DEET).
  • Use products that contain permethrin on clothing.
  • Bathe or shower as soon as possible after coming indoors to wash off and more easily find ticks that are crawling on your body.
  • Conduct a full-body tick check after spending time outdoors.
  • Examine gear and pets, as ticks can “ride” into the home and attach to a person later.

Information on this virus and other tick borne virus from DHSS can be found here.

Tips for Dealing with Extreme Heat

Extreme heat can be dangerous, leading to heat stroke and death. Heat stroke occurs when your temperature rises quickly and your body cannot cool down. This condition is life-threatening, but it is preventable.

Tips for Preventing Heat-Related Illness

Warning signs of heatstroke
Warning signs of heatstroke in children
Skin is flushed, red and dry
Decreased physical activity
Little or no sweating
Lack of tears when crying
Deep breathing
Dry mouth
Dizziness, headache, or fatigue
Irritability and fussiness
Less urine is produced, of a dark yellowish color
Confusion, loss of consciousness
In adults, hallucinations and aggression

Note icon. If you believe you or someone else may be suffering from heat stroke, get help immediately.

American Red Cross Tornado App logoTornado Warning and Alert App by American Red Cross
Get ready for a tornado with the official Tornado App from the American Red Cross. The tornado warning app puts everything you need to know to prepare for a tornado – and all that comes with it – in the palm of your hand. From your mobile phone, call "**REDCROSS" (**73327677) and the American Red Cross will send you a link to download the app to your phone. Apps can also be downloaded directly from the iTunes or Google Play app stores.

© Copyright The American National Red Cross. All rights reserved.

Weather Alerts for the Unpredictable Summer
Summer weather can be unpredictable with the chance of major effects to include wildfires, tornados, and more.  It is important to be aware of pending weather conditions. Be proactive to ensure safety measures are being met. The National Weather Service has developed a list of free and paid alerts available by email or SMS text that are beneficial for families and communities. To view the list of weather alert systems available, visit the National Weather Service to subscribe to weather and emergency alerts.

Prepping for Brownouts and Blackouts
Heat and high electricity demands are increasing the risk of blackouts or brownouts. Brownouts typically occur during heat waves due to heavy equipment coming online, short circuits, or electrical companies decreasing voltage in order to meet the needs of peak time. Blackouts are a complete power outage and can last from hour to weeks depending on the cause.

Take action now and prepare for possible service interruptions in your area. Because the length of a power outage can vary from a few hours to several days, you need to plan to get by without utilities for at least three days. Use FEMA’s “Going Off Grid: Utility Outages” and take simple steps to get prepared for an outage. Some utility outage checklist items include: 

The “Going Off Grid: Utility Outages” activity module is part of FEMA’s “Preparedness Activities for Communities Everywhere” tools, which provides relatively easy steps to take to be prepared for all types of hazards. For additional tips visit blackouts.

First Aid Smart Phone App

The American Red Cross has created a First Aid application for smart phones. The application puts expert advice for everyday emergencies in your hand. You will have instant access to the information you need to know how to handle the most common first aid emergencies. To get the app text “GETFIRST” to 90999 or search American Red Cross.

The app also features:

Graphic of mosquitoAre you getting bugged?Graphic of mosquito
Using the correct insect repellent along with other preventive actions can discourage ticks, mosquitoes, and other biting insects from bugging you. Here are some tips you can take:


Avoid tick habitats

Avoid tick bites

Remove mosquito habitats

Use structural barriers Avoid getting bitten

Other Preventive Actions to Avoid Getting Bitten