September is National Preparedness Month Focusing on Helping Older Adults Prepare for Natural Disasters. Click here to learn more....
BEAT THE HEAT
- Stay Hydrated
- Drink plenty of water and eat water-dense foods like cucumbers and watermelon.
- Avoid drinks with caffeine and alcohol.
- Replace salt lost from sweating by drinking sports drinks or beverages that contain electrolytes, such as sodium and potassium.
- Keep Your Cool
- Avoid eating hot and heavy meals.
- Stay inside when possible or find air-conditioned places to cool off.
- Avoid spending time outdoors during the hottest part of the day.
When You Go Outside:
- Wear loose, lightweight clothing and a hat.
- Apply sunscreen with at least SPF (Sun Protection Factor) 15 every time you are outside.
- Plan your outdoor activities in the morning and evening when temperatures are cooler.
- Take frequent breaks in the shade or indoors.
- Stay Informed
- Track extreme heat in your area or travel destination with the CDC Heat & Health Tracker.
- Check your local news for extreme heat alerts and safety tips.
The NYS Cooling Center Map is a searchable tool for finding cooling centers in your area. These include libraries and senior centers.
Visit the Department of Environmental Conservation website for more information on NY State efforts regarding extreme heat and its effects on individuals.
- President Biden’s emergency declaration for some parts of New York State will provide critical federal funding for local governments recovering from floods resulting from recent heavy rainstorms. Clinton, Dutchess, Essex, Hamilton, Ontario, Orange, Putnam, and Rockland counties will be eligible for the relief.
- As thunderstorms continue to crop up, especially in light of extreme heat, more flooding is possible.
- Retain all receipts and other documentation related to disaster response for insurance purposes and in case funding is made available .
- Due to wildfires and expanding climate concerns, air quality continues to be an issue for New Yorkers, particularly those with underlying health problems. The conditions are extremely dynamic.
- This week, Long Island and the New York City Metro area are both experiencing Air Quality Index (AQI) measures over 100, a level deemed unhealthy for sensitive groups.
- The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and DOH issue Air Quality Health Advisories and corresponding guidelines based on 24-hour forecasts. Take note that one-hour values may exceed forecast values in a given region.
For a real-time online reading of air quality in your location, click here
For additional information, please visit the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation website, or call the Air Quality Hotline at 800-535- 1345.
During air quality emergencies and advisories, due to smoke pollution from the Canadian wildfires, residents should:
- Avoid outdoor activity, whenever possible
- Keep widows closed while indoors if possible and if you use an air conditioner, set it to recirculate the air and not bring it in from outdoors (the same for using A/C in your car).
- Wear a well fitting, quality N-95 mask that can help filter out pollution particles. If you cannot afford one or find one, Ulster County is distributing masks to local town halls. Please check with your Town Clerk for availability.
- Use high-quality indoor air filtering devices, preferably with a MERV-13 HEPA filter, that it properly sized for your room and/or indoor space. You can also make your own inexpensive filter unit by using these directions.
- Check in on neighbors to make sure they are alright, especially the elderly and those who may have chronic respiratory problems.
JYNNEOS vaccine: Statewide eligibility currently includes the following New Yorkers:
- Individuals with recent exposure to a suspected or confirmed mpox case within the past 14 days.
- Those at high risk of a recent exposure to mpox, including gay men and members of the bisexual, transgender, and gender non-conforming community and other communities of men who have sex with men and who have engaged in intimate or skin-to-skin contact with others in the past 14 days areas where mpox is spreading.
- Individuals who have had skin-to-skin contact with someone in a social network experiencing mpox activity, including men who have sex with men who meet partners through an online website, digital application ("app"), or social event, such as a bar or party.
- Any individual that may be at risk of future exposure to infection with mpox, even though they are not at high risk of a recent exposure to mpox.
To find a convenient location near you use the CDC’s vaccine finder
Know the Risks of Radon and How You Can Protect Your Family
Radon is a naturally occurring, radioactive gas found in soil and rock. It seeps into homes through cracks in the foundation, walls, and joints. Radon comes from the natural (radioactive) breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water and gets into the air you breathe. It can get into any type of building--homes, offices, and schools--but you and your family are likely to get your greatest exposure at home, where you spend most of your time. Among nonsmokers, radon is the leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. Based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates, lung cancer due to radon exposure claims about 21,000 US lives annually. In many cases lung cancer can be prevented; this is especially true for radon-related lung cancer. To learn more, including prevention measures, click here..
Environmental Protection Agency's Citizen's Guide to Radon
Click here to see a list of all Ulster County retailers who violated the NYS Adolescent Tobacco Use Prevention Act, and UC Law, by selling tobacco products to those under 21
HELP PROTECT OUR COMMUNITY BY SAFELY DISPOSING OF YOUR UNUSED MEDICATIONS!
The 2 companies that have been selected to implement the NYS Drug Take Back Act have been signing up locations in Ulster County where residents can safely dispose of unused medications, at no charge. Please help do your part to help keep dangerous drugs off of our streets and out of our groundwater, waterways and ecosystems. Check these 2 sites to find a location near you - and new locations are being added every day:
Inmar Drug Take Back Locator for Ulster County
Med Project Drug Take Back Locator for Ulster County
Local police departments and Sheriff stations throughout Ulster County also have unused medication collection boxes available to the public. The full list of locations is here
For a continuously updated list of substance use treatment and recovery programs in and around Ulster County, click here
For an updated directory of all Medication Assisted Treatment providers in and around Ulster County, click here
Narcan (naloxone) can help reverse an overdose and save lives. For a map and list of free naloxone stations throughout Ulster County click here
Ulster County is Now Experiencing Drought and High Fire Risk Conditions. Following is Some Important Drinking Water and Drought Information
Public Water Supplies
Services include sanitary surveys, inspections, water supply surveillance samples, troubleshooting, plan reviews and approvals, and technical assistance to both private and public water supply owners/operators, throughout Ulster County. Contact: (845) 340–3035
Some Resources on Residential Wells and Drought
- General information on wells (USGS)
- General information on residential wells (USGS)
- What makes a well go dry? (USGS)
- Why having tanked water brought in to fill your well might create a problem. (NYS DEC)
- Information on the current drought conditions (NRCC)
Want to test your water? Click here for a list of Certified Drinking Water Labs
Staying Safe During Extremely Hot Weather
Protecting Youth Mental Health
Youth mental health challenges are reaching epidemic proportions. Read the new advisory report by the US Surgeon General
The Six Pillars of Wellness - Mark Devine - Founder, Unbeatable Minds
- Reduce Your Stress (breath awareness, mindfullness practices, yoga, regular exercise, etc.)
- Enhance Your Fitness and Movement (this can be formal exercise or just a regular enjoyable walk. The important thing is to move your body on a regular and consistent basis)
- Better Nutrition (reduce fat, sugar, empty carbohydrates. Eat more fruits, vegetables, nuts and low-fat proteins - and substitute water for sugar sweetened beverages)
- Sleep and Recovery (most Americans do not get sufficient sleep, which is essential to maintain good physical and mental health. 7+ hours for adults and at least 9 for kids is ideal)
- Time in Nature and Silence (time spent in nature is proven to be benefical and it's free. Turn off the screens and other noise and distractions - and get out there)
- Enhanced Social Associations (research demonstrates that more time spent with family, friends and others is one of the most important factors for optimal physical and mental health - and longevity)
Are You Eating as Healthy as You Think? What 2000 Calories Looks Like
Is Your Sedentary Lifestyle Harming You? THE ANSWER IS "YES"
The sedentary lifestyle is easy to fall victim to.
Research has shown that a sedentary lifestyle—sitting for long periods of time on a daily basis—leads to obesity, cancer, and risk of death from cardiovascular disease. Just sitting in front of your TV for more than 4 hours a day increases your mortality risk by any cause by nearly 50 percent! And it’s not just channel surfing. Any extended sitting, such as behind a desk or driving all day—can be harmful to your health. And spending a few hours at the gym each week doesn’t seem to significantly offset the risk of a sedentary lifestyle.
So, what to do? Sit less, move more—all day long. If you’re reading this, stand up! If you’re listening to music, stand up and move! The muscular effort you use will help burn calories and trigger the important breakdown of fats and sugars in the body. Every time you stand or actively move, you kick those fat-burning processes into gear. When you sit, they stall!
Here are some simple ways to combat your sedentary lifestyle and help you stand up for a longer, healthier life:
– Set your smart phone alarm, computer or clock to ring on the hour to remind you to stand up, refill your cup of water, and take a short walk.
– Do this quick yoga routine several times a day.
– Stand up and do some leg raises.
– Take all phone calls on your feet.
– Schedule a “walking date” or learn to take meetings walking.
– Park your car further away and walk to your destination!
– Always take the stairs, instead of the elevator. Even one floor will do your body good.
70 of the Most Popular Sodas: Ranked by How Toxic They Are
YOU HAVE THE POWER TO HELP PREVENT LYME DISEASE AND OTHER TICK BORNE ILLNESSES BY FOLLOWING THESE STEPS:
- While out walking, stay on clear well traveled paths.
- Cover up and wear light colored clothing to spot ticks easily.
- Keep the grass trimmed and brush cleared around your home, especially where children play.
- Use insect repellant, as directed.
- Shower as soon as possible after spending time outdoors.
- Check everyone for ticks, including pets, frequently and at the end of each day.
- Remove all ticks promptly and properly (and note the date and time if you need to speak with your healthcare provider later).
Frequent Handwashing, especially before eating, is one of the best ways to protect yourself from viruses and other communicable diseases. Here's how to do it right:
New NYSDOH Regulations on the Sale of Flavored Vaping Products (posted 09.20.19)
IMPORTANT EMERGENCY INFORMATION REGARDING THE USE OF VAPING PRODUCTS
Anyone using vape products and experiencing symptoms including shortness of breath, cough, chest pain, fever, nausea or vomiting should contact their health care provider immediately. Health care providers should report possible cases to their local poison control center (1-800-222-1222). If individuals are concerned with their vaping device or products and want more information, they can call the NYSDOH's Vaping Hotline at 1-888-364-3046. The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) has received numerous reports from New York State physicians of severe pulmonary (lung-related) illness among patients ranging from 15 to 46 years of age who were using at least one cannabis-containing vape product prior to becoming ill. Stay informed https://www.health.ny.gov/prevention/tobacco_control/campaign/e-cigarettes/
In May 2019, Operation Prevention announced the winners of their Video Challenge Contest.
As part of the contest, sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the DEA Educational Foundation, and Discovery Education’s Operation Prevention, participants created 30 to 60 second original Public Service Announcements aimed at preventing other teens from abusing opioids.
Out of hundreds of entries, Cooper D., Wilson S. in Greenwood Village, Colorado, made it to the final round for their PSA video "Walking Alone." Watch it below.
View the Emmy Award-winning documentary. "Reversing the Stigma" and learn the facts about opioid addiction
The Simple Fact:
E-cigarettes, or electronic cigarettes, are tobacco products.
They have been sold in the U.S. for about a decade. They include e-pens, e-pipes, e-hookah, and e-cigars, known collectively as ENDS—electronic nicotine delivery systems. They're also sometimes called JUULs, vapes and vape pens.
No matter their name, e-cigarettes are the most commonly used tobacco products among kids. While much remains to be determined about their lasting health consequences, there's evolving evidence that shows e-cigarettes cause irreversible lung damage and lung disease.
How Much Screen Time is Right for Your Kids?: a new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics
Surgeon General’s Advisory on E-cigarette Use Among Youth
Surgeon General of the United States Public Health Service, VADM Jerome Adams, am emphasizing the importance of protecting our children from a lifetime of nicotine addiction and associated health risks by immediately addressing the epidemic of youth e-cigarette use. The recent surge in e-cigarette use among youth, which has been fueled by new types of e-cigarettes that have recently entered the market, is a cause for great concern. We must take action now to protect the health of our nation’s young people.
KNOW THE RISKS. TAKE ACTION. PROTECT OUR KIDS.
How to Help Teenagers Quit Vaping - NY Times
Get the Facts - E-cigarettes are Dangerous to Youth and Adults
Prescription Opioid Based Pain Relievers Can be Addictive and Dangerous!
The Danger of Prescription Drugs and Why You Need to Talk to Your Kids About Them
Naloxone Can Reverse an Overdose and Save a Life. Learn more....
SUSPECT DRUG TRAFFICKING IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD? CALL THE URGENT TIPLINE AT 845.340.3599. ALL CALLS ARE CONFIDENTIAL AND WILL BE REPLIED TO.
ONLINE AND MOBILE SAFETY:
Children of all ages use the Internet for many things: doing schoolwork, communicating with friends, playing games, and more. That’s why it’s important to help ensure they make good decisions when going online.
Check out Living Life Online, a guide from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), to help kids stay safe, use critical thinking skills, and more.
To help protect your family online, we've put together this agreement that parents and kids can use to make the rules of use clear and easy - and that will keep kids safe in the mobile/online world. Feel free to modify per your specific family circumstance
Cyber-Bullying is not only harmful, but it's also against the law in Ulster County.
The NYS Dignity for All Students Act also helps ensure that all students can feel safe in every classroom
When adults respond quickly and consistently to bullying behavior they send the message that it is not acceptable. Research shows this can stop bullying behavior over time.
Parents, school staff, and other adults in the community can help kids prevent bullying by talking about it, building a safe school environment, and creating a community-wide bullying prevention strategy.
5 Ways to Stop Cyberbullies
5 Ways to Deal With Haters and Trolls
4 Ways to Help Teens Avoid Digital Harassment
Is There Anything Tobacco Products Wouldn't Do to Get Their Products in Front of Our Kids? Get the Facts...
Ulster County Cyber-Bullying Ban Signed Into Law
It is now illegal to perform any kind of cyber-bullying in Ulster County. For details, click here
We’ve all heard the news reports about ZIKA virus, so let’s review the facts and the steps that you can take to help prevent it:
Fact 1: the ZIKA virus is transmitted by a species of mosquito that bites during the day and breeds in containers of standing water near where people live.
Fact 2: SO FAR, none of the affected or suspected mosquito species have been detected in Ulster County.
Fact 3: you can take common sense steps to reduce the chances of mosquitoes breeding and biting near your home by keeping your gutters clean and eliminating sources of standing water such as old tires, barrels, cans and other items and areas where small pools of water can gather. Also, keep your screens in good repair - and use insect repellent as directed.
Fact 4: if you or your partner have traveled to an area where ZIKA is known to be present and you are pregnant or plan on becoming pregnant, practice safe sex and speak to your health care provider about getting tested.
For details, visit/call:
ZIKA Virus Presention by Dr. Carol Smith, Ulster County Commissioner of Health and Mental Health
Centers for Disease Control - CDC ZIKA site
New York State Department of Health - NYSDOH ZIKA site
or call the NYS ZIKA Information Line at: 1-888-364-4723 (you can also obtain free and non-toxic (to humans, pets and wildlife) tablets that kill mosquito larvae by calling this #)
Mosquito Dunks ® (larvicide)- For one free 2-pack of larvicide for private residence use, New Yorkers can call the Zika Information Line or email the completed, attached form directly to b0019w[at]health.ny[dot]gov. Please note: the form must be completely filled out.
Great Video on How to Keep your Home and Yard Mosquito Free - Courtesy of University of California
Colorectal Cancer is One of the Few Preventable Cancers - Talk to Your Doctor Today!
IF YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW IS STRUGGLING AFTER A DISASTER
Call the Disaster Distress Hotline at: 1-800-985-5990
or Text 'TalkWithUs' to 66746
FROM THE CDC: FREE MOBILE APPS (iOS and Android) ON TICK BORNE DISEASES
Tick identification with vivid photos and illustrations
Summarized information about signs and symptoms of the most common tickborne diseases
Information about diagnostic tests and supporting lab tests
Treatment table summaries
Live links to additional journal articles and resources
Prevention and prophylaxis recommendations
Legislation is now pending in the NYS Assembly and NYS Senate that would require pharmacies to take back unused medications. Since we know that over 1/2 of the highly addictive opioid pills on the streets come from our medicine cabinets, we are urging everyone to write their representatives to support this important public health measure. Click here for details and a list of NYS representatives.
Family of Woodstock’s textmeback.org textline is a dynamic new textline service for youth and adults to access help via text messaging on mobile devices or chat via web browser on any platform. Contact textmeback.org for issues involving drug abuse, domestic violence, bullying and other issues involving personal safety, mental health services, housing (or shelter), concerns about the well-being of loved ones, crisis situations, education, and questions about resources in the Ulster County community.
Smokers: Check out American Lung Association's Freedom from Smoking Online
Freedom From Smoking® Online, or FFS Online, is a program specifically designed for adults, like you, who want to quit smoking. It’s an adaptation of the American Lung Association’s gold standard, group clinic that has helped thousands of smokers to quit for good.
Tobacco Companies Spent 2 1/2 Million Dollars a Day Marketing Their Products to Kids in Order to Recruit New Smokers. Get the Facts...
See Aaliyah's Award Winning Video Poem that She Wrote After Losing Her Father to Cancer as a Result of Smoking
Sign up for SmokefreeTXT
SmokefreeTXT is a mobile text messaging service designed for adults and young adults across the United States who are trying to quit smoking. The program was created to provide 24/7 encouragement, advice, and tips to help smokers quit smoking and stay quit. Start here...
The New York State Smokers' Quitline
Provides free, confidential services that include information, tools, quit coaching and support in English and Spanish. Provides FREE starter kits of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) patches to eligible New Yorkers. The Quitline also works with employers, health plans and health care providers to ensure New York tobacco users have access to effective cessation treatments. To learn more:
Call 1-866-NY-QUITS (1-866-697-8487) toll free, or
WANT TO STOP SMOKING TODAY AND ENJOY A HEALTHIER LIFE?
Check out the great resources on this site.
The 2016 NYS Health Benefit Exchange is OPEN and Shopping for Health Insurance Plans is More Important than Ever
From the Wall Street Journal: The Price We Pay for Sitting. If you sit all day your health may be at risk. Office workers should sit for 20 minutes, stand for eight and stretch for two, then repeat.
Confidential Disposal of Unwanted Medications Now Available at These Locations
AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION ANNOUNCES NEW "HANDS ONLY" CPR GUIDELINES
Keep the Beat with Hands-Only CPR
Would you know what to do if you witnessed a cardiac emergency? You can help victims of sudden cardiac arrest by keeping the beat of their heart going using Hands-Only CPR. A recent survey suggests that 70 percent of Americans feel helpless to act during a cardiac emergency because they don’t know how to administer CPR or they’re afraid of hurting the victim. The American Heart Association (AHA) encourages everyone to learn Hands-Only CPR by watching this video:
Help Keep Our Groundwater and Waterways Healthy and Clean:
If you have a Septic System, download this free Homeowner's Septic Care and Maintainence Guide
FREE, FRESH LOCAL PRODUCE AVAILABLE NOW - STRETCH YOUR BUDGET AND EAT HEALTHY - NO INCOME REQUIREMENTS. SEE DETAILS BELOW:
Ulster County Community Action (English)
Ulster County Community Action (Espanol)
American Heart Association Launches New Online Support Network for Heart and Stroke Survivors and Their Families
Do you know someone who would be interested in nutritious, well-balanced home delivered meals at NO or low COST?
Ulster County's Office for the Aging has openings in their home delivered meals program. Qaulification criteria include the following:
- Monthly individual income near or below $1, 345.
- Not able to cook for themselves
- Over 60 years old or a caregiver of someone over 60.
For more information and to determine eligibility for a specific person, please call Ulster County Office for the Aging at: 845-340-3456
Spotlight Injury Prevention Topic: Child Food Choking
There is a general perception that children most often choke on small parts of toys, pen tops, balloons, round batteries, and other small objects; however food also poses a choking hazard that is sometimes overlooked.
Food choking is a significant public health problem among children in NYS. Choking on food can lead to serious injuries and death, especially for young children. In recent years, an average of 331 children were treated each year at hospitals due to choking on food; 62 of whom sustained injuries severe enough to require hospitalization. Younger children continue to be at the most risk for choking injuries and death, especially those ages birth to age four.
Risk for children under 5 is especially high because their swallowing mechanisms and teeth are not fully developed and their airways are very narrow.
Foods that pose a risk of choking hazard include:
• Candy (especially hard or sticky candy), cough drops, gum, lollipops, marshmallows, caramels, hard candies, and jelly beans.
• Combinations of food size, texture, and shape can pose a threat. For example, a slippery hard candy with a round shape about the size of a drinking straw could block an airway (windpipe). Foods that clump, are sticky or slippery, or dry and hard textured are also a concern.
• Dried fruits, sunflower seeds, all nuts, including peanuts.
• Hot dogs (especially cut into a coin shape), meats, sausages, and fish with bones.
• Ice cubes and cheese cubes.
• Peanut butter (especially in spoonfuls or with soft white bread).
• Popcorn, chips, pretzel nuggets, and snack foods.
• Whole grapes, raw vegetables, raw peas, fruits, fruits with skins, seeds, carrots, celery, and cherries.
For more information please see the following resources:
Ulster County's Food Service Waste Reduction Act bans all food service establishments from using expanded polystyrene foam (commonly referred to as Styrofoam) when preparing, selling or providing food and beverages in Ulster County. Learn more...
SuperTracker can help you plan, analyze, and track your diet and physical activity. Find out what and how much to eat; track foods, physical activities, and weight; and personalize with goal setting, virtual coaching, and journaling:
- Get your personalized nutrition and physical activity plan.
- Track your foods and physical activities to see how they stack up.
- Get tips and support to help you make healthier choices and plan ahead.
Anatomy of Unhealthy Food Purchase Choices
For a great online source of all things preventative health in Ulster County, visit the new Healthy Ulster County Network site:
When Disaster Strikes Ulster County Needs Volunteers Like You!
How can I help my community?
Have you ever thought about volunteering, but didn't know how you could help your community? Or are you an experienced volunteer looking to expand your skills and opportunities? Become a volunteer to help Ulster County to get ready for and respond to emergencies!
ServNY is a New York State registry for people who wish to volunteer during an emergency or major disaster or an emergency exercise. Your role as a volunteer will help ensure that people affected by a disaster will receive the care they need. Registering simply tells us that you are open to the idea of volunteering in case of an emergency. Please consider volunteering to help your local community.
Invitation Letter from UC Commissioner of Health, Dr. Carol Smith
BE PREPARED....and learn how to protect your family, home, pets and community in the event of a natural disaster. Download FREE informational brochures here.
Is the Airbag in Your Car Safe? Japanese airbag manufacturer, Takata, has just announced that 34 million cars in the US have potentially defective airbags. To find out if your car may be subject to a recall for a faulty airbag or any other defect, click here
FDA continues to warn consumers not to use Eu Yan Sang (Hong Kong) Ltd.’s “Bo Ying compound"
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is working with Maryland and other states to continue to warn consumers and caregivers not to use Eu Yan Sang (Hong Kong) Ltd.’s “Bo Ying compound” because of the possible lead poisoning risk associated with the product. This reminder comes after the Maryland’s DHMH found elevated levels of lead in these products....read more
FOR A COMPLETE LIST AND MAP OF ALL FOOD PANTRIES IN ULSTER COUNTY, CLICK HERE
HAVE A PLAN...AND HELP PREVENT NEEDLESS DWI INJURIES AND FATALITIES
The New York State Governors Traffic Safety Committee and the NYS STOP-DWI Foundation are proud to release their Have A Plan mobile app. This app provides you with a timely and convenient resource that enables you to locate and call a taxi service, program a designated-driver list, educate yourself on Blood Alcohol Content levels as well as information on DWI laws and penalties or even report a suspected impaired driver. Available for Apple, Droid, and Windows smart phones.
LET'S MOVE HEALTHY LUNCHTIME CHALLENGE COOKBOOK - free access to great healthy recipes, submitted by families and kids, from around the nation.
ULSTER COUNTY HEALTHY SCHOOL LUNCH RECIPE BOOK - get great, award-winning ideas, from friends and neighbors across Ulster County, for preparing healthy and delicious school lunches.
Before heading to the grocery store, developing a “game plan” can help you get organized and save money. It also allows you to rethink your food choices and pick healthier options.
College Student Nutrition Guide - an excellent resource with practical tips for healthier eating