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Environment


With a heat advisory on, communities set up cooling shelters
Temperatures are to remain in the 90s until the weekend
by WKSU's M.L. SCHULTZE


Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
 

The National Weather Service in Cleveland has issued a heat advisory until 9 tonight, and some Northeast Ohio communities are setting up cooling centers that will remain open through Friday.

Akron has set up shelters at five community centers. They’re open until 8 or 9 each evening for people who have no air conditioning or other ways of staying cool.

Meanwhile, Summit County Executive Russ Pry has declared a state of emergency tied to the extensive damage done a week ago by intense storms that blew through the area.

Akron cooling shelters:

  • Patterson Park – W-TH  9 am – 9 pm, Fri. 12 – 5
  • Ellet – W-TH  8 am – 8 pm, Fri. 8 – 4
  • Lawton – W-TH 8:30 am – 8:30 pm, Fri. 8:30 – 6 
  • Summit Lake – W-TH-F 8 am – 8 pm
  • Firestone – W-TH 9 am – 8 pm, Fri. 11 – 4

 Advice on handling the heat from the Ohio Department of Health

  • Friends and neighbors are urged to periodically check on the elderly and those with illnesses, since they are among those at highest risk for heat-related problems.
  • The best defense against heat-related problems is prevention. Staying cool and making simple changes in fluid in-take, activities and clothing during hot weather will help keep you safe and healthy.
  • Residents without power can call their local 211 numbers for information and assistance, or 911 in an emergency.
  • Use the State of Ohio’s Check on Your Neighbor kit to spread the word.

Adults and kids at work and play also need to take measures against heat stress. Summer activity, whether on the playing field, at the construction site, or anywhere else, should be balanced with measures that help the body cool off. Hot weather demands increased fluid intake, regardless of activity level.

Drink Cool Fluids

  • Increase your water intake. Don’t wait until you are thirsty before you start drinking water.
  • Do not take salt tablets without a physician’s advice.
  • Avoid beverages that contain alcohol or caffeine, because they can add to dehydration and increase the effects of heat illnesses.

Monitor or Limit Outdoor Activities

  • Young children may become preoccupied with outdoor play and not realize they are overheated. Adults should mandate frequent breaks and bring children indoors to cool down and have cool drinks.
  • Children or adolescents involved in team sports should be closely monitored for signs of heat stress. Consideration should be given to modifying practice or games during the hottest parts of the day and shifting practice to cooler times.

Know How to Treat Heat Exhaustion

  • Symptoms of heat exhaustion include: heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, tiredness, weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea or fainting.
  • People experiencing these symptoms should be moved to a shady or air-conditioned area. Remove or loosen tight clothing and apply cool, wet clothes or towels.
  • Have person sip on a half glass of cool water every 15 minutes. If the person refuses water, vomits or loses consciousness, call 911 or the local emergency number.

 Know How to Treat Heat Stroke

  • Heat stroke is a life-threatening situation. Call 911 immediately. Symptoms include: a body temperature of 103 degrees or higher, red, hot and dry skin with no sweating, rapid pulse, headache, dizziness, nausea, confusion, unconsciousness, and gray skin color.
  • Before medical help arrives, begin cooling the person by any means possible, such as spraying person with water from a garden hose or by placing the person in a cool tub of water.

NEVER Leave Children or Pets in Vehicles

  • Even in cool temperatures, cars can heat up to dangerous temperatures quickly. Even if the windows are cracked open, interior temperatures can rise almost 20 degrees within the first 10 minutes.
  • Children or animals left inside a vehicle is at risk for serious heat-related illnesses or even death.
  • When traveling with children (even routine drives), remember to do the following:

o   To remind yourself that a child is in the car, place bags, phones or other items you will take with you in the back seat. This will force you to turn around before exiting the car.

o   When leaving your vehicle, check the front and back seats to make sure no sleeping children (or pets) are left in the car.

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