With an extended heat wave arriving this week, Greenwich First Selectman Fred Camillo announced the opening of several cooling stations for residents seeking relief from the heat.
“With the cooperation of my emergency management team, we have designated several facilities that have been opened immediately for the comfort and well-being of residents,” Camillo said in a statement on Monday.
The facilities will be open Monday, July 18, through Monday, July 25.
Greenwich Libraries, the Bendheim Western Greenwich Civic Center, Town Hall and the Greenwich Public Safety Complex are available to any resident who needs respite from the stagnant weather system that will cause temperatures to rise into the mid-90s with high levels of humidity through the coming weekend.
There is a threat of thunderstorms each day, according to the National Weather Service.
“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, those whose work requires outdoor activities and people who are socially isolated are encouraged to pay special attention to the weather and utilize these Town facilities,” Camillo added.
Governor Lamont said in a release on Monday, “We’re about to experience our first heat wave of the year that over the next several days will bring very hot conditions, especially during the peak sunlight hours of the day.”
Some prevention tips to stay safe in extreme heat include:
- Keep your body temperature cool to avoid heat-related illness.
- Stay in air-conditioned buildings as much as possible. If you must be outdoors, try to limit your outdoor activity to the morning and evening. Try to rest often in shady areas so that your body has a chance to cool off.
- Find an air-conditioned shelter. (Call 2-1-1 for a list of cooling centers.) Do not rely on a fan as your primary cooling device.
- Avoid direct sunlight.
- Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing.
- Take cool showers or baths.
- Check on those most at-risk several times a day.
- Pets that cannot be brought indoors should be provided ready access to water and shade to keep them cool.
Everyone is also reminded to stay hydrated during periods extreme heat. Because bodies lose fluid through sweat, dehydration is common while experiencing very high temperatures. It is strongly encouraged to:
- Drink more water than usual.
- Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink more fluids.
- Drink two to four cups of water every hour while working or exercising outside.
- Avoid alcohol or liquids containing high amounts of sugar.
- Remind others to drink enough water.
Cooling Centers in Greenwich:
Greenwich Library, 101 W. Putnam Ave.:
- 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.: Monday through Thursday.
- 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.: Friday & Saturday.
- 1 – 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 & 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 – Saturday. (Closed Sunday.)
Bendheim Western Greenwich Civic Center, 449 Pemberwick Road.
- 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.: Monday – Friday.
- 9 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.: Saturday.
- 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.: Sunday.
Greenwich Public Safety Complex, 11 Bruce Place:
- 9 a.m. – 11 p.m.: daily.
Town Hall, 101 Field Point Road:
- 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.: Tuesday – Friday; and Monday, July 25.
Keep children and pets inside, except for brief stays outdoors. Always avoid direct sunlight exposure and give pets plenty of water to drink. Drink plenty of fluids regardless of your activity. Avoid drinks with caffeine, alcohol, or with large amounts 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.
Don’t leave food items in the car or outdoors – food spoils quickly.
It is 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 the 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 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 FOR 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.