Fire Department: Caribbean Heat Wave Season. Be Extra Vigilant

June 7, 2023  -GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – The Fire Department is calling on the community to be extra vigilant for the coming weeks and months as the country is currently in the annual Caribbean Heat Season which runs from May to October.

The Fire Department and Office of Disaster Management (ODM) would like to offer the following tips to help the community manage hot weather as we enter the heat season: Minimize the risks of sun and hot weather; prepare your household, pets and workplace; avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day; for those working outdoors, get relief from and avoid the effects of heat by adjusting your attire and activities to limit sun exposure, heat and exertion.

Hot cars/trucks can be deadly. Don’t leave children in cars/trucks; be aware of heat-related illness such as high body temperature, vomiting, and pale and clammy skin; stay cool with air-conditioning, or at a pool/beach; avoid going out during the hottest hours, and wear sunscreen if necessary; drink lots of water; wear lightweight, light-colored clothes; wear a hat or carry an umbrella with you when you’re out; help others by checking on those at risk, like the sick, older adults, pregnant women, and children.

Keep pets safe and healthy in the heat by: never leave pets in the car/truck; avoid hot surfaces like asphalt that may burn your pet’s paws; offer water and shade at all times; move indoor pets, like fish and birds, away from windows or direct sunlight; watch for heat stress such as excessive panting, drooling, weakness, and reluctance to move in a pet may be caused by heat stress.

Stay aware of your own wellness and that of others: family members, friends, and work colleagues.

According to the Meteorological Department of Sint Maarten (MDS), heat waves in the Caribbean are more common during the months of August and September.

In case of a fire emergency call: 919. The Fire Department falls under the Ministry of General Affairs.

For health/medical emergencies call 911.

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