June 22, 2014
KANSAS CITY, Missouri — The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, the State Emergency Management Agency and the National Weather Service are promoting Missouri Summer Safety Week, June 22-28, to highlight the risks and dangers associated with excessive heat.
In the event of excessive heat, several area organizations have established themselves as cooling centers. Cooling centers in the Northeast include: Garrison Community Center, 1124 E. 5th St.; Gregg/Klice Community Center, 1600 John “Buck” O’Neil Way; North-East Library, 6000 Wilson Road; Blue Valley Salvation Army, 6618 E. Truman Road; and the Bellefontaine Salvation Army, 3013 E. Ninth St. More cooling centers throughout Kansas City and Missouri can be found by visiting www.MO.gov. Through the online cooling center directory, users can enter their zip code, city or county to find a cooling center nearby.
In a press release, Gail Vasterling, director of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, said excessive heat and humidity can cause health problems, particularly for the elderly and people with pre-existing health issues. Summer Weather Safety Week is an opportunity to review the precautions people should take during periods of high temperatures. In 2013, the Department of Health and Senior Services reported 14 heat-related deaths in Missouri.
Here are several tips to protect you and your family during severe heat and heat emergencies:
-Check on family, friends and neighbors who do not have air conditioning and who spend much of their time alone.
-If you do not have air conditioning, consider spending the warmest part of the day in public buildings such as libraries, schools, movie theaters, shopping malls and other community facilities.
-Never leave children or pets alone in closed vehicles.
-Drink plenty of water and limit intake of alcoholic beverages.
-Wear loose-fitting, lightweight and light-colored clothes that cover as much skin as possible.
-Avoid strenuous work during the warmest part of the day.
-Be aware of medications that may impair the body’s response to heat, including antihistamines, tranquilizers and some medications for heart disease.
The National Weather Service has additional information on staying safe during excessive heat, as well as lightning safety at http://www.crh.noaa.gov/lsx/?n=summerweathersafetyweek.