Maryland Department of Environment Issues Air Quality Alert

 WORCESTER COUNTY (July 17, 2013) The Maryland Department of the Environment issued an Air Quality Alert for today, and the National Weather Service issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook, with a heat index of over 100 degrees.

With high temperatures forecast throughout the week, the public is invited to escape the heat by visiting any of the five Worcester County branch libraries, located in Ocean City, Ocean Pines, Berlin, Snow Hill and Pocomoke, as well as the Worcester County Recreation Center (WCRC) in Snow Hill during standard operating hours.

The WCRC is open Monday - Thursday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and closed Saturday and Sunday. Residents are invited to walk on the four-lane competitive track or simply relax on the retractable bleachers, which can comfortably accommodate up to 520 people. For more information, call Recreation and Parks at 410-632-2144.

For library hours of operation, contact the Worcester County Library at (410) 632-2600 or visitwww.worcesterlibrary.org.

Worcester County Emergency Services urges residents to drink plenty of fluids, avoid alcohol and caffeine, and take frequent breaks from stressful activities to avoid becoming dehydrated and overheated, which can lead to heat stroke or heat exhaustion.

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Extreme Heat often results in the highest number of annual deaths among all weather-related hazards. In most of the United States, extreme heat is defined as a long period (2 to 3 days) of high heat and humidity with temperatures above 90 degrees. In extreme heat, evaporation is slowed and the body must work extra hard to maintain a normal temperature. This can lead to death by overworking the human body. Remember that:

Extreme heat can occur quickly and without warning.

Older adults, children, and sick or overweight individuals are at greater risk from extreme heat.

Humidity increases the feeling of heat as measured by a heat index.

IF YOU ARE UNDER AN EXTREME HEAT WARNING:

  • Find air conditioning.
  • Avoid strenuous activities.
  • Watch for heat illness.
  • Wear light clothing.
  • Check on family members and neighbors.
  • Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Watch for heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heatstroke.
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