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In recent years, excessive heat has caused more deaths than all other weather events, including floods. A heat wave is a prolonged period of excessive heat, generally 10 degrees or more above average, often combined with excessive humidity. These conditions can be dangerous and even life-threatening for humans who don't take the proper precautions.
For citizens trying to stay cool during hot temperatures, there are multiple City facilities open where folks can escape the scorching temperatures outside.
- The Adult Community Center, 505 G Avenue, is open weekdays 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
- The Library is open: Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday, from 1 until 7 p.m.
- City Hall, 380 A Ave., is open weekdays 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.
- The West End Building, 4101 Kruse Way, is open weekdays 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.
NOTE: all City facilities will be closed on Friday, July 3 for the Independence Day holiday.
During a heat wave:
- Never leave children or pets alone in enclosed vehicles.
- Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol.
- Eat small meals and eat more often.
- Avoid extreme temperature changes.
- Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Avoid dark colors because they absorb the sun’s rays.
- Slow down, stay indoors and avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day.
- Postpone outdoor games and activities.
- Use a buddy system when working in excessive heat.
- Take frequent breaks if you must work outdoors.
- If you do not have air conditioning, choose places you could go to for relief from the heat during the warmest part of the day (schools, libraries, theaters, malls).
- Check on family, friends and neighbors who do not have air conditioning, who spend much of their time alone or who are more likely to be affected by the heat. Know those in your neighborhood who are elderly, young, sick or overweight. They are more likely to become victims of excessive heat and may need help.
- Ensure that your animals’ needs for water and shade are met. Check on your animals frequently to ensure that they are not suffering from the heat.
During heat waves people are susceptible to three heat-related conditions. Go to www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster/heat-wave to learn how to recognize and respond to them.
- Heat cramps are muscular pains and spasms that usually occur in the legs or abdomen. Heat cramps are often an early sign that the body is having trouble with the heat.
- Heat exhaustion is a more severe condition than heat cramps. Signs of heat exhaustion include cool, moist, pale, ashen or flushed skin; headache; nausea; dizziness; weakness; and exhaustion.
- Heat stroke is a life-threatening condition that usually occurs by ignoring the signals of heat exhaustion. Heat stroke develops when the body systems are overwhelmed by heat and begin to stop functioning. Signs of heat stroke include extremely high body temperature, red skin which may be dry or moist; changes in consciousness; rapid, weak pulse; rapid, shallow breathing; confusion; vomiting; and seizures. Heat stroke is life-threatening. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately.