Extreme Heat Consideration July 2017

July 18, 2017 04:12 PM
Local agencies including the Knox County Health Department and Knox County Emergency Management Agency will be monitoring local conditions to see if the need arises for a formal cooling center to be opened over the next several days of expected extreme heat.  "Our experience in routinely opening cooling centers over the last 20 years is that they are rarely used," states Knox County EMA Coordinator Tom Simkins.  "The Red Cross has been very proactive in opening cooling centers at local churches only to find that the volunteer staff with few to no customers.  We feel it is a real positive situation and a strength in our communities that people are finding alternative ways to keep comfortable during the hottest of days.  Folks out here in the more rural areas tend to do a great job of looking out for friends, families and neighbors in need."  Should a demand for a 24-hour cooling center arise due to a power outage or other incident, the Red Cross will be contacted immediately.
Residents and visitors can use the State of Illinois cooling center at the Department of Human Services at 477 East Main Street in Galesburg between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.  The lobby of the Public Safety Building at 150 South Broad Street in Galesburg is also available.
Everyone should follow these basic heat safety tips in order to avoid heat exposure and possible death.
  • During the hottest hours of the day, stay inside. If possible stay inside an air-conditioned building.
  • Dress lightly and when sleeping use lightweight breathable covers.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • People who live in homes with no air conditioning should keep blinds closed from morning until the late afternoon to block extra direct heat from sunlight. Also, stay on the lowest level of your home.
  • Use a fan. Don’t place the fan directly in front of a window because it may push hot air in. Try placing the fan so that it blows in the room and out the window instead.
  • Move your exercise routine to early morning or later in the evening – even swimming.
  • Never ever leave anyone in the car while you run to do a quick errand. Not a pet, not a child, not anyone. Cars can become overheated quickly and when overheated become like ovens. People can succumb to heat exposure and death very quickly in a hot car.
For more information, please contact the Knox County Health Department at 309/344-2224 or Knox County EMA at 309/345-3756.


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