Heat advisories issued, cooling centers available

Author: , (follow: @69news), news@wfmz.com
Published: Jul 15 2013 11:38:34 AM EDT   Updated On: Jul 18 2013 11:05:26 AM EDT

The heat is on, and officials want you to take the heat advisories seriously.

Temperatures are forecast in the 90s for the next few days, with heat index values making it feel closer to 100 degrees.

The combination of hot temperatures and high humidity will combine to create a dangerous situation in which heat illnesses are possible.

To ensure your safety, and the safety of those around you, make sure you're in a place with air conditioning, whether it's a shopping mall, library or cooling center.

Cooling centers have been established around the area:

Berks County:

Bucks County:

Except as noted, Monday through Friday (July 15-19), the following senior centers will be open from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. and on Sat., July 20 from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Fans may be available through the AAA for senior residents of Bucks County (age 60+) who do not have a fan or air conditioner. The elderly also may call 267-880-5700 for help during this period of extreme heat.

Lehigh County:

The Lehigh County Senior Center, located at 1633 Elm St. in Allentown, is open from 8:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. most days. 610-437-3700.

Montgomery County:

Most of the Senior Adult Activity Centers (SAACs) are air-conditioned, as are malls and libraries.

The Montgomery County Human Services Center, at Fornance and DeKalb Streets in Norristown, will also be a cooling site during a Code Red Heat Emergency for residents who cannot access other sites.

During the day, homeless residents can escape the heat at:

Northampton County

Salvation Army, 1110 Northampton Street, Easton,  8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.  Monday-Friday, 610-258-9531

Boys & Girls Club of Easton, 210 Jones Houston Way, 9am-5pm Monday-Friday, 484-239-2075 (PLEASE CALL AHEAD)

Pen Argyl Borough is opening the Weona Park Community Center on Route 512 at Weona Park as a cooling center Thursday and Friday from 12-4 p.m. Residents age 60 and older who need a place to keep cool are welcome to come and relax in the center.

Hunterdon County, N.J. has identified several cooling centers where residents can go to beat the heat:

Municipal supported cooling centers in Hunterdon Co.

In Warren County, the Hackettstown Municipal Building, 215 Stiger St., will be utilized as a cooling center this week (July 15 - July 19) from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. for any Hackettstown resident who may lose power or doesn’t have an air conditioning unit.

If a resident loses power, the municipal building can also be a charging station for cell phones, computers, etc.

Some tips for dealing with excessive heat:

Air conditioning is the number one protective factor against heat-related illness and death.

During conditions of extreme heat, spend time in locations with air conditioning, such as shopping malls, public libraries, etc.

Stay hydrated: Drink cool, non-alcoholic beverages and increase fluid intake, regardless of your activitiy level.

Avoid caffeinated and alcoholic beverages which can increase the risk of dehydration.

Never, ever leave anyone inside a parked car, including children, the elderly or pets.

The National Weather Service advises that even when it's only 80 degrees outside, it can take just two minutes for the inside of your car to heat up to 123 degrees.

Avoid heavy exertion, extreme heat and sun exposure whenever possible.

Monitor high risk individuals by checking on elderly neighbors as well as children.

Limit outdoor activity to early morning or the evening hours.

Dress in light-colored, loosely fitting clothing.

Drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air conditioned room, stay out of the sun and check up on relatives and neighbors.

The worst of this six to seven-day heat wave will probably occur Thursday and Friday when the heat index is between 100 and 105 degrees.

Emergency management officials urges residents and visitors to be prepare for the dangerous conditions.

“The elderly, young children and infants and those who are medically compromised are most at risk to heat related illness. We are recommending everyone limit their time outdoors Tuesday and stay hydrated," said Hunterdon County, N.J., Emergency Management Coordinator Brayden Fahey.

"While we have recently faced a long period of hot weather, Tuesday’s forecast indicates it will be the most dangerous conditions we have seen this summer. If someone is experiencing a medical emergency the 9-1-1 system should be activated and professional assistance summoned quickly,” Fahey added.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, heat stroke is the most serious heat-related illness.

Heat stroke occurs when the body's temperature rises rapidly, the sweating mechanism fails, and the body is unable to cool down.

Heat stroke can cause death or permanent disability if emergency treatment is not provided.

Heat exhaustion is a milder form of heat-related illness that can develop after several days of exposure to high temperatures and inadequate or unbalanced replacement of fluids.

Those most prone to heat exhaustion are elderly people, those with high blood pressure, and those working or exercising in a hot environment.


                                                     SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS


HEAT STROKE                                                                        HEAT EXHAUSTION

Extremely high body temperature (above 103F)               Heavy sweating
Red, hot and dry skin (no sweating)                                   Paleness
Rapid, strong pulse                                                               Muscle Cramps
Throbbing headache                                                            Tiredness
Dizziness                                                                                 Weakness
Nausea                                                                                    Dizziness
Confusion                                                                              Headache
Unconsciousness                                                                  Nausea or Vomiting
                                                                                                Fainting