Heights public buildings available as ‘cooling centers’ for residents

HEIGHTS — Residents seeking relief from the heat may use specified public buildings as temporary cooling centers.

The National Weather Service is predicting hot and humid weather conditions for the next several days, with highs expected near 90. These conditions can be dangerous – causing heat-related health problems for many individuals – particularly young children, seniors, overweight people, and those who are ill or on certain medications.

The city’s senior and recreational centers are available as temporary “cooling centers” for those who seeking relief from the heat. Residents who are adversely affected by the heat and do not have access to air conditioning are welcome to visit any of the following facilities:

• Caroline Kennedy Library, 24590 George St.
Open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.

• John F. Kennedy Library, 24602 Van Born
Open noon to 8 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, noon to 5 p.m. Friday, and noon to 5 p.m. Saturday.

• Richard A. Young Recreation Center, 5400 McKinley
Open 7 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, 7 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, and
11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Sunday.

On weekdays (Monday through Thursday),

Residents also can visit the city’s senior centers — Berwyn Senior Center, 26155 Richardson, and Eton Senior Center, 4900 Pardee —from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday for temporary relief from the heat

In addition to the city-owned facilities, there are several other locations in the area that serve as good places to escape the heat temporarily:

• Malls and shopping centers offer a way to stay cool, get some shopping done, get some walking exercise, and take advantage of several other activities (such as movie theaters and dining).

• Museums and libraries provide opportunities to stay cool indoors for an afternoon while viewing some items and information of interest, or catching up on some reading.

Particularly during these extreme conditions, the public can take a few basic heat-related precautions:

• Drink plenty of non-alcoholic fluids.

• Make sure pets have access to plenty of fresh water.

• Reduce intake of caffeinated beverages.

• A void strenuous outdoor work.

• Wear lightweight clothing.

• Pace yourself – don’t overdo it.

• Stay cool indoors. If your home does not have air conditioning, visit a public building.

• Close drapes and shades on windows facing direct sunlight.

• Take cool showers or baths.

• Check on elderly, disabled or ill friends and relatives regularly.

• Do not leave children or pets in parked cars. Under these conditions, heat stroke can occur quickly. Signs of heat stroke include a body temperature that exceeds 103 degrees, lack of sweating, rapid pulse, headache, nausea, confusion and even unconsciousness. If someone is suffering from these symptoms, health officials recommend the victim be cooled rapidly, to 101 or 102 degrees, and a call be placed to 911 for immediate health care.
Pet owners should also be mindful to protect pets from the extreme heat, by keeping them out of direct sunlight and hot environments as much as possible, and making sure they have plenty of cool drinking water. Also, no matter how many vehicle windows are “left open a crack,” pets should never be left unattended in vehicles during these weather conditions.
For more information on coping with the heat, go to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website, www.bt.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/index.asp. For more information on the local weather conditions, check the National Weather Service White Lake facility website, www.crh.noaa.gov/dtx.