Hot, humid conditions expected to continue

Heights residents can find relief in public buildings

HEIGHTS — The National Weather Service is predicting hot and humid weather conditions to return later this week and through the weekend, with expected highs in the mid to high 90s (coupled with high humidity).

These extreme 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.

Dearborn Heights senior and recreational centers will be available as cooling centers for residents. Those who are adversely affected by the heat and do not have access to air conditioning may go to the facilities for temporary relief.

The facilities (and hours of operation) are:

• 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; and noon to 5 p.m. Friday and 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; and 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday.

On weekdays (Monday through Thursday), residents can also visit the City’s Senior Centers for temporary relief from the heat:

• Berwyn Senior Center, 16155 Richardson — Open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

• Eton Senior Center, 4900 Pardee — Open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

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 an opportunity 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, all residents 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.
• Avoid strenuous outdoor work.
• Wear lightweight clothing.
• Pace yourself – don’t overdo it.
• Stay cool indoors. If your home does not have air conditioning, go to a public building, such as one of the city’s senior centers, libraries, or a nearby shopping mall.
• 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 their 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. Leaving them unattended in parked cars can be deadly.

For more information on coping with the heat, go to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website, http://emergency.cdc.gov/disasters.

For more information on the local weather conditions, go to the National Weather Service (White Lake facility) website, www.crh.noaa.gov/dtx.