heatThe National Weather Service is predicting hot and humid weather later this week and over the weekend. Temperatures are expected to be in the mid 90’s with high humidity.

Several Wayne County communities have opened “Cooling Centers” for residents to beat the heat during the upcoming hot weather. The Wayne County Department of Emergency Management and the Department of Health, Veterans and Community Wellness also remind residents to take steps to protect themselves during the extreme heat.

“With hot weather continuing into the weekend, make sure that you drink lots of water, use air conditioning, and check in on family, friends, and neighbors who are vulnerable to the effects of high heat,” said Dr, Mouhanad Hammami, Director of the Department of Health, Veterans and Community Wellness.

Click the link below for a list of “Cooling Centers” and hours of operation in your area

http://www.referweb.net/uwse/ type in your zip code and keyword “extreme heat cooling” in the search box or you can call 2-1-1.

Wayne County Emergency Management encourages residents to take the following steps to beat the heat throughout the summer months:

Check on those particularly vulnerable to the heat:

· Pay special attention to the elderly, the very young and anyone with a pre-existing medical condition. Residents should check in on older neighbors who may be isolated from friends and family.

· Air conditioning is the best way to keep cool when it is hot outside, but some people do not have an air conditioner or do not turn it on when they need it. Encourage them to use air conditioning. Help them get to an air-conditioned place if they cannot stay cool at home. Make sure they are drinking enough water.

Additional health and safety tips to beat the heat:

· Stay out of the sun and avoid extreme temperature changes.
· Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing.
· Drink fluids, particularly water, even if you do not feel thirsty. Your body needs water to keep cool. Those on fluid-restricted diets or taking diuretics should first consult their physician.
· Water is the safest liquid to drink during heat emergencies. Avoid beverages containing alcohol and/or caffeine.
· Eat small, frequent meals.
· Avoid strenuous activity, especially during the sun’s peak hours: 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM. If you must do strenuous activity, do it during the coolest part of the day, which is usually in the morning between 4:00 AM and 7:00 AM.
· If possible, go to an air-conditioned building for several hours during the hottest parts of the day.
· Cool down with a cool bath or shower.
· Participate in activities that will keep you cool, such as going to the movies, shopping at a mall, or swimming at a pool or beach.
· Cover all exposed skin with an SPF sunscreen (15 or above) and wear a wide-brimmed hat to protect your face and head.
· Never leave your children or pets in the car.

Facts about heat illness:

Heat illness is serious. Prolonged exposure to the heat can be harmful and potentially fatal. The added stress caused by heat can also aggravate heart or lung disease even without symptoms of heat illness. The risk for getting sick during a heat wave is increased for people who:

· Do not have or do not use air conditioning
· Are age 65 or older
· Have chronic medical or mental health conditions
· Take certain medications, which can disrupt the regulation of body temperature
· Are confined to their beds, have trouble with being mobile, or are unable to leave their homes
· Are overweight
· Consume alcohol or illegal drugs

Know the warning signs of heat stress. If you or someone you know feels weak or faint, go to a cool place and drink water. If there is no improvement, call a doctor or 911.

Call 911 immediately if you have, or someone you know has:

· Hot dry skin OR cold clammy skin
· Trouble breathing
· Rapid heartbeat
· Confusion, disorientation, or dizziness
· Nausea and vomiting

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