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Lightning Awareness

Lightning Awareness 

Lightning is one of the top three storm-related killers in the United States with an average of 47 deaths per year over the last 30 years. In 2016, there were 38 lightning fatalities in the United States (none in Iowa). However, in 2015 there were two fatalities in the state.

No place outside is safe near a thunderstorm. When outside, keep an eye on the sky. Most people are struck by lightning before or just after a storm because they wait too long to seek shelter or go back outside too soon. If you hear thunder, go indoors! Seek shelter in a building or hard-topped vehicle. Do not go outside until 30 minutes or more after hearing the last thunder. This will insure the thunderstorm is far enough away and that it’s safe to resume outdoor activities.

All lightning deaths result from cardiac arrest. If you’re with a victim, call 9-1-1 to get professional medical help then apply CPR if possible. A common myth is that lightning victims are electrified and dangerous to approach. This is false! About 90% of lightning victims survive, so your first aid may save a life.

For additional safety and forecast information visit:

The National Weather Service is working with its partners to build a Weather-Ready Nation to support community resilience in the face of increasing vulnerability to extreme weather. Visit the Des Moines NWS office website, follow us on Twitter (@NWSDesMoines) and on Facebook.

The Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management leads, coordinates and supports homeland security and emergency management functions in order to establish sustainable communities and ensure economic opportunities for Iowa and its citizens. Follow us on Twitter (@IowaHSEMD) and on Facebook.

Building a Weather-Ready Nation

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Heat Awareness

Protect yourself from the HEAT

Heat is the number one weather-related killer in the U.S.

According to the National Weather Service, heat kills more people each year on average than floods, lightning, tornadoes, and hurricanes. The elderly, small children, people on certain medications, and those with certain health conditions are especially at risk to reacting poorly to extreme heat. Luckily, heat-related illness is 100 percent preventable.

  • Stay indoors as much as possible. If air conditioning is not available, remain on the lowest floor and out of the sunshine.
  • Avoid too much sunshine. A sunburn slows the skin’s ability to cool itself. Use sunscreen with a high SPF rating.
  • Drink plenty of water regularly, and limit intake of alcoholic beverages-which can cause dehydration.
  • Eat well-balanced, light meals.
  • Slow down. Reduce, reschedule, or eliminate strenuous activities.
  • Dress in lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that covers as much skin as possible. Light-colored clothing will reflect heat and sunlight, and help maintain a normal body temperature.
  • Protect your face and head by wearing a wide-brimmed hat.

Protecting Pets from HEAT

  • Make sure your pets have plenty of water.
  • Don’t exercise dogs when it’s warm. Instead, exercise early in the morning or late at night, or where they can cool off in water.
  • Fur coats are hot. Keep your dog or cat’s fur trimmed to about one inch to help them cool down. A kiddie pool filled with water can also keep pets cool, however, keep them in the air conditioning when possible.
  • If your pets do show any signs of distress, take them to the vet immediately.

Recognizing and Treating Heat Illness
Learn the signs and symptoms of heat disorders and overexposure to the sun, and what you should do.

  • Sunburns-Characterized by redness of the skin and pain. In severe cases, swelling of skin, blisters, fever, and headaches will occur. What to do: Use ointments for mild cases, do not break blisters if they appear. Serious cases should be seen by a physician.
  • Heat Cramps-Characterized by pail spasms in stomach and leg muscles, and those affected will also be sweating heavily. What to do: Apply firm pressure or massage cramping muscles, and give the victim sips of water. Discontinue with if nausea occurs.
  • Heat Exhaustion-Affected persons will experience heavy sweating, weakness, and cold, pale, and clammy skin. In addition, the victim’s pulse may be fine and scarcely perceptible, but temperature not be normal. Fainting and vomiting often occur. What to do: Get the victim out of the sun, and have the person lie down, loosen clothing. Apply cool, wet cloths to the victim or move them to an air-conditioned room. Offer sips of water, but discontinue if nausea occurs. Seek immediate medical attention if vomiting continues.
  • Heat Stroke(Sunstroke)-Characterized by a high body temperature (106 F or higher). The victim’s skin will be hot and dry, and have a rapid, strong pulse. He or she may even suffer unconsciousness. What to do: HEAT STROKE IS A SEVERE MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Summon emergency medical assistance or get the victim to a hospital immediately. Delay can be fatal. While waiting for assistance, move the victim to a cooler environment, and reduce his/her body temperature with a cold bath or sponging. Remove the affected person’s clothing. Use fans and air conditioners. If the victim’s temperature rises again, repeat the process. Do not give the victim fluids.
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i-SERV in Jasper County


Date: 11/22/2016

From: Jasper County Emergency Preparedness Coalition

To: Local Media and Community Providers


i-SERV in Jasper Countyi-serv


Jasper County is in need of volunteers to sign up with the Iowa Statewide Emergency Registry of Volunteers (i-SERV). The Iowa Department of Public Health’s secure online registry for individuals wishing to volunteer in the event of a large scale disaster or public health emergency.  As of October 1, 2016 there are 2,233 volunteers registered in iSERV. i-SERV is part of a federal effort to coordinate and assemble volunteers for all types of emergencies.

The i-SERV on-line registration includes questions about basic personal information and professional skills. Volunteers have the ability to decide travel distance and length of deployment. Based on the information provided, public health officials will identify and contact those individuals suited to fill the specific volunteer roles needed in an emergency.

Who can volunteer?

Anyone can volunteer. An emphasis is currently being placed on the recruitment of licensed medical and healthcare volunteers that will satisfy clinical needs and provide surge capacity for public health emergencies. However, volunteers who do not have any medical training are welcomed and are encouraged to register. There will be a need for volunteers with all types of skills and expertise, such as those who are skilled in: interpretation (languages and hearing impaired); administration; transportation training; provision of day care; security; computers; clerical work; data entry; and construction. All volunteers are valued, even if you have no specific qualifications other than the willingness to help.

If you would like to sign up, please visit the following website


If you have additional questions, please contact Becky Pryor at Jasper County Health Department at (641)787-9224.

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testlighteningThe Alert Iowa system provides city officials with the ability to provide pre-recorded emergency telephone notification/information messages to targeted areas or the entire city. Residents and businesses are encouraged to sign up for WENS/Alert Iowa Alerts to be sure they receive timely emergency notifications when alerts are issued. Sign up here
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