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Organizations Collaborate to Provide Seasonal Weather Guidance to their Communities
June 8, 2021
Hampton, NH

With New England’s recent temperature increases and the start of a potentially active hurricane season, Unitil, a provider of natural gas and electricity to customers throughout New England, and the American Red Cross are encouraging residents to take steps throughout the summer months to keep their families and properties safe all year long.

As school vacation begins and the weather heats up, we’re encouraging residents to be prepared for sweltering heat, as well as summer storms. While the weather may be unpredictable, we can offer a few tips to help New England residents ensure they’re ready for any weather that comes their way.

Media Relations Manager, Alec O'Meara

In the event of severe heat in your area:

  • Be cautious of “peak load” days.
    • During the hottest days of summer, 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, 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 each location—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.
  • Check on loved ones and pets, and know the signs of heat stroke and exhaustion.
    • Check on family, friends and neighbors without air conditioning, who spend much of their time alone or who are more likely to be affected by the heat. Never leave children or pets alone in enclosed vehicles, as the inside temperature of a car can quickly reach 120 degrees. Ensure you and those around you are drinking water even when it feels like you aren’t thirsty, as heat exhaustion typically involves the loss of bodily fluids through heavy sweating in high heat and humidity.
      • Signs of heat exhaustion include cool, moist, pale or flushed skin, heavy sweating, headache, nausea, dizziness, weakness and exhaustion.
      • Animals can suffer heat strokes as well, so be aware of the following signs: heavy panting, inability to calm down even when lying down, brick red gum color, a fast pulse and/or inability to get up.
  • Practice pool safety.
    • Have young children or inexperienced swimmers wear properly fitted U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets around water, but do not rely on life jackets alone. Never leave a young child unattended near water, and do not trust a child’s life to another child. Teach children to always ask permission to go near water.
  • What do to if someone has been struck by lightning.
    • If someone has sustained a lightning strike and requires professional medical care, first check the person for burns and other injuries. If the person has stopped breathing, call 911 and begin CPR. People who have been struck by lightning do not retain an electrical charge and can be handled safely.

In addition to summer safety, we’re encouraging everyone to plan now for the possibility of dangerous storms. After back-to-back seasons of record-breaking disasters, being ready is your best defense,” said Jennifer Costa, Regional Communications Director for the American Red Cross of Northern New England. “We recommend downloading our free Red Cross Emergency app to help keep you and your loved ones safe with real-time alerts, Red Cross shelter location and information on hurricanes and other emergencies to stay safe all year long.”

Ensure your family is ready to either evacuate or hunker down if a hurricane threatens your community.

  • Create an evacuation plan in case you are separated from your family during an emergency and have to evacuate.
  • Build an emergency kit with a gallon of water per person per day, non-perishable food, a flashlight, a battery-powered radio, a first aid kit, medications, supplies for infants and pets, a multi-purpose tool, personal hygiene items, copies of important paperwork, cell phone chargers, extra cash, blankets, maps of the area and emergency contact information.
  • Be informed. Find out how local officials will contact you during a disaster and determine how you will receive important information such as evacuation orders.

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, a battery-operated radio and clock, bottled water, canned food and a manual can opener, blankets and/or sleeping bags, important phone numbers, a first aid kit and portable phone chargers. Ensure your car’s gas tank is 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. 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.


About the American Red Cross

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

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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 107,100 electric customers and 85,600 natural gas customers. For more information about our people, technologies, and community involvement please visit https://unitil.com.


For more information please contact:
Alec O'Meara

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

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