Heat Wave: Town of Greenwich to Open Cooling Centers on Tuesday

The State of Connecticut will activate its extreme hot-related protocol for this week’s predicted heat wave starting at noon on Tuesday, June 18.

On Monday Greenwich Acting First Selectwoman Lauren Rabin announced the opening of several cooling stations around Town for residents seeking relief from the heat and humidity.

The cooling centers will be open through the week as high temperatures have resulted in a hazardous weather outlook being issued by the National Weather Service. Starting Tuesday, the NWS has forecast that temperatures will be into the 90’s, reaching predicted highs in the upper 90’s on Thursday and Friday. The protocol is scheduled to be in place until Sunday, June 23.

As a result of these expected high temperatures, residents should exercise caution and avoid putting themselves at risk while also making sure they check in on vulnerable people that they know might need help.

The Town’s libraries and Bendheim Western Greenwich Civic Center will be open their regular hours, as will Town Hall. The Greenwich Public Safety Complex’s Margenot Atrium will be open 24 hours as a cooling center. These facilities will be available to any resident who needs a respite from the heat and humidity.

Cooling centers:
Greenwich Library, 101 W. Putnam Ave.:
 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.: Monday through Friday
 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.: Saturday
 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.: Sunday

Perrot Memorial Library, 90 Sound Beach Ave., Old Greenwich:
 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.: Monday, Wednesday, Friday.
 9 a.m. – 8 p.m.: Tuesday and Thursday
 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.: Saturday
 Closed: Sunday

Byram Shubert Library, 21 Mead Ave.:
 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday.
 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.: Tuesday.
 Noon – 8 p.m.: Thursday
 Closed: Sunday

Cos Cob Library, 5 Sinawoy Road, Cos Cob:
 Noon – 8 p.m.: Monday.
 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.: Tuesday through Friday
 Closed: Sunday

Bendheim Western Greenwich Civic Center, 449 Pemberwick Road.
 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.: Monday through Friday
 9 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.: Saturday
 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.: Sunday

Greenwich Public Safety Complex, 11 Bruce Place:
 24 hours

Town Hall, 101 Field Point Road:
 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.: Weekdays (Closed Saturday and Sunday)
The Greenwich Department of Health reminds residents that heat-related illnesses are a public health threat and that all residents, especially persons who are young, elderly, have medical or mental health conditions, use medications that impede body temperature regulation, those who do not have air conditioning, or those whose work requires outdoor activities and people who are socially isolated, should pay special attention to the weather.

During these times of high heat, please keep children and pets inside, except for brief stays outdoors.

Always avoid direct sunlight exposure and give your pets plenty of water to drink. People should drink plenty of fluids regardless of your activity. Please avoid drinks with caffeine, alcohol or those with largeamounts of sugar and salt. Those who are on a restricted fluid intake should check with their physician.

Never leave any person or pet in a parked vehicle even if the windows are open and do not leave food items in the car or outdoors as food spoils quickly. It is also important to recognize the symptoms of heat-related illnesses that can become medical emergencies.

HEAT STROKE is also called “sunstroke.” The victim’s temperature control system, which produces sweat to cool the body, stops working. The skin is flushed, hot and dry, and body temperature may be elevated. The victim may also be confused, develop seizures, breathe shallowly and have a weak or rapid pulse.

This is the most serious heat-related illness and people exhibiting these symptoms should seek emergency medical attention by calling 911.

HEAT CRAMPS are muscular pains and spasms resulting from heavy exertion. Although heat cramps are the least severe heat-related illness, they are an early signal that the body is having trouble coping with heat and should be treated immediately with rest and fluids. Stretching or direct pressure can also reduce cramps. Unless very severe, heat cramps do not require emergency medical attention.

HEAT EXHAUSTION occurs when body fluids are lost through heavy sweating due to vigorous exercise or working in a hot, humid place.

Symptoms include: sweating; pale, clammy skin; fatigue; headache;
dizziness; shallow breaths; and a weak or rapid pulse. Victims of heat exhaustion are tired but not confused. The condition should be treated with rest in a cool area, drinking water or electrolyte solutions, elevating the feet 12 inches, and further medical treatment in severe cases. If not treated, the victim’s condition may escalate to heat stroke. If the victim does not respond to basic treatment, seek medical attention.

HEAT TERMS:
• Heat Advisory: When the heat index exceeds 100°F for less than three hours a day for two consecutive days.
• Heat Index: An indicator, in degrees Fahrenheit, of how it feels when humidity is factored into air temperature.
• Heat Wave: Prolonged period of excessive heat often combined with excessive humidity.
• Excessive Heat Warning: When the heat index is expected to exceed 115°F or when it exceeds 100°F for three or more hours for two consecutive days.
• Heat Watch: A long-term alert for excessive heat.
• Ozone Advisory: Issued when ozone levels are expected to exceed dangerous levels. People should be especially careful to avoid strenuous activity, especially those with respiratory problems such as asthma.

TIPS TO STAYING COOL:
• Slow down and avoid strenuous activity.
• Avoid too much sunshine. Sunburn slows the skin’s ability to cool itself. The sun will also heat the inner core of your body, resulting in dehydration.
• Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothes that cover as much skin as possible to prevent sunburn.
• Take frequent breaks if you must work outdoors and use a buddy system when working in extreme heat. Exposure to heat can cloud judgment. If you work alone, you may not notice.
• Avoid extreme temperature changes. A cool shower immediately after coming in from hot temperatures can result in hypothermia, particularly for elderly and very young people. Give your body a chance to adjust to extreme temperature changes.