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Organizations Partner to Provide Summer Weather Guidance to their Communities
July 3, 2018
Hampton, NH

With much of New England experiencing high temperatures during this holiday week, being outdoors can be uncomfortable, and at times, life-threatening. As part of an ongoing partnership, Unitil, a provider of natural gas and electricity to customers throughout New England, and the American Red Cross (ARC) are encouraging residents to take steps throughout the summer that will keep their families and properties safe all year long—especially during the forecasted heat wave.

 

“As summer turns up the heat here in New England over this popular vacation week, we’re encouraging residents to be prepared for sweltering heat,” said Unitil Media Relations Manager Alec O’Meara. “While we can’t predict the weather, we can offer a few tips to help New England residents ensure they’re weather-ready.”

 

In the event of severe heat in your area:

  • Be cautious of “peak load” days.

During the hottest days of the summertime, air conditioners are working overtime which causes the market price for electricity to spike for hours at a time. The “peak load” days cause higher supply costs for all electric customers in the area, both Unitil and non-Unitil customers alike. To help reduce your energy consumption this summer, tune your cooling system frequently to enhance performance and improve efficiency. Use the fan setting on your window AC at night when the outside air is cool and ensure that all windows are closed when the AC is on.

  • Discuss heat safety with members of your household.

Have a plan for wherever you spend time— home, work and school—and prepare for the possibility of power outages. Check the contents of your emergency preparedness kit in case a power outage occurs. Choose places you could go, such as shelters, schools, libraries, theaters or malls, for relief from the heat during the warmest part of the day.

  • Stay hydrated.

Drink plenty of fluids even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol. Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Avoid dark colors because they absorb the sun’s rays. Use a buddy system when working in excessive heat and take frequent breaks if you must work outdoors.

  • Check on the health of pets and loved ones. 

Check on family, friends and neighbors who do not have air conditioning, who spend much of their time alone or who are more likely to be affected by the heat. Check on your animals frequently to ensure they are not suffering from the heat. Never leave children or pets alone in enclosed vehicles.

  • Know the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

Heat exhaustion typically involves the loss of bodily fluids through heavy sweating during strenuous exercise or physical labor in high heat and humidity. Signs of heat exhaustion include cool, moist, pale or flushed skin; heavy sweating; ​​headache; nausea; dizziness; weakness and exhaustion.

 

“Excessive exposure to heat can cause a range of heat-related illnesses, from heat rash and heat cramps to heat exhaustion and heat stroke,” said Lloyd Ziel, Chief Communications and Marketing Officer for the American Red Cross in New Hampshire and Vermont.

 

Heat and humidity also create the ideal conditions for a fast-moving severe thunderstorm. Such storms can be accompanied by a high volume of lightning strikes and damaging winds, both of which can cause outages. In the event of a severe storm in your area:

 

  • Secure loose items that are susceptible to movement (lawn furniture, bicycles)
  • Check and inventory the following items in advance:
    • Flashlights and fresh batteries
    • Battery-operated radio and clock
    • Bottled water, canned food and a manual can opener
    • Blankets and/or sleeping bags
    • List of important phone numbers
    • First aid kit
    • Portable phone charger
    • Keep your car’s gas tank full.
  • Listen to a NOAA weather radio, local news broadcasts or the TV weather channel for critical information from the National Weather Service.
  • If you see downed wires in the wake of a storm, DO NOT APPROACH and contact your local utility or call 911. Always assume downed wires are still live.

 

Download the free Red Cross Emergency App: The Emergency App gives you instant access to weather alerts, life-saving information and ways to contact family and friends in an emergency, all from your mobile device. This easy-to-use, all-inclusive app provides expert advice on what to do in case of disasters including floods, tornadoes, fires and more. The free Emergency App is available in app stores for smartphones and tablets by searching for the American Red Cross or by going to redcross.org/apps.

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About Unitil Corporation

Unitil Corporation provides energy for life by safely and reliably delivering natural gas and electricity in New England. We are committed to the communities we serve and to developing people, business practices, and technologies that lead to the delivery of dependable, more efficient energy. Unitil Corporation is a public utility holding company with operations in Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Together, Unitil’s operating utilities serve approximately 105,000 electric customers and 81,300 natural gas customers. Other subsidiaries include Usource, Unitil’s non-regulated business segment. For more information about our people, technologies, and community involvement please visit www.unitil.com.

 


For more information please contact:
Alec O'Meara

Media Relations Manager
OMeara@unitil.com
Phone: 603-773-6404

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