Towns set up cooling centers

James A. Tuttle Library in Antrim.

James A. Tuttle Library in Antrim. —COURTESY PHOTO

Published: 06-18-2024 12:07 PM

Modified: 06-19-2024 10:29 AM


Due to the incoming heat wave, James A. Tuttle Library at 45 Main St. in Antrim will serve as a cooling center from 2 to 6 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, June 19 and 20.

Dublin Community Center, 1123 Main St., will serve as a cooling center from 10 am. to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, plus. Dublin Public Library, 1114 Main St., will serve as a cooling center from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, plus normal hours.

In Wilton, Wilton Public and Gregg Free Library, 7 Forest Road, will be a cooling center from through 4 p.m. Tuesday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday and 1:30 to 4 p.m. Friday.

Rindge Recreation Department, 283 Wellington Road, will serve as a cooling center from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. through Thursday.

New Ipswich’s town pool in Memorial Park will be open from noon to 8 p.m. through Friday. Capacity is approximately 80 people. Town Hall will be open for people to cool down from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday. There will be Wi-Fi access, and people are free to bring their own board games, cards, books, snacks and beverages. No alcohol is allowed on town property.

The National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory, from noon to 8 p.m. Tuesday, and an excessive heat watch June 19 and 20. During the heat advisory, heat index values of up to 99 degrees are expected. During the excessive heat watch, dangerously hot conditions with heat index values up to 106 degrees are possible.

To stay safe, the Red Cross recommends the following:

-- Slow down by postponing or limiting outdoor activities, including strenuous exercise. If people must work outdoors, they should take frequent breaks and avoid the hottest part of the day by scheduling tasks earlier or later. Hot cars can be deadly, so never leave children or pets in a vehicle alone.

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– Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and avoiding sugary, caffeinated and alcoholic drinks. Check that animals also have access to plenty of fresh water and shade.

– Spend time indoors in an air-conditioned place. People who don’t have air conditioning should go to a public library, shopping mall or a public cooling center. Call 211 to find an open location. Check on loved ones and neighbors who may be at risk and do not have air conditioning to make sure they are safe.

As heat waves become more common and last longer, heat-related deaths are also on the rise. Heat illness can be prevented, and the Red Cross recommends learning the warning signs and how to help.

Heat cramps are an early sign of trouble and include heavy sweating with muscle pains or spasms. To help, move the person to a cooler place and encourage them to drink water or a sports drink. Get medical help if symptoms last longer than an hour or if the person has heart problems. 

Heat exhaustion is a more-severe condition signaled by heavy sweating, cool, pale and clammy skin, a fast or weak pulse, nausea or vomiting, muscle cramps, tiredness or weakness or a headache, dizziness or passing out. To help, move the person to a cooler place, loosen tight clothing, encourage them to sip water slowly. Use wet cloths, misting or fanning to help cool them off. Get medical help right away if symptoms get worse or last longer than an hour, or if they begin vomiting or acting confused.  

Heat stroke is a deadly condition that requires immediate medical help. Symptoms include a high body temperature, hot, red, dry or damp skin, a fast or strong pulse, a headache or dizziness or nausea, confusion and passing out. Call 911 right away, and then move the person to a cool place. Use wet cloths, misting or fanning to help cool them off. Do not give the person anything to drink.

Heat can make anyone ill, but older adults, the very young, pregnant women and those with chronic medical conditions are more at risk. People who work outdoors, have limited personal resources and live in places that lack green spaces are also at higher risk.