Houston Cooling Centers Open

The National Weather Service says the heat wave continues in the West. While not as hot as this past weekend, daytime high temperatures are forecast to reach the mid to upper 90’s in Houston-Galveston and surrounding counties.  Cooling centers across Houston will stay open during normal business hours. The free METRO bus rides and the city’s Health Heat Emergency Plan are suspended. The cooling centers include multi-service centers, libraries and recreation centers.

The heat emergency plan is activated when the heat index (feel-like temperatures) reach 108 degrees for more than 2 days in a row.  The Houston health department urges high-risk groups such as adults 55 and older, children under age 5 and people with chronic illness to stay inside air-conditioned buildings between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m., the hottest part of the day during this heat wave.

The Houston health department has these tips to protect against from heat-related heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

  • Stay hydrated. Drink lots of  water and liquids, but avoid those with caffeine, alcohol or large amounts of sugar because these can result in the loss of body fluid.
  • Work outdoors or exercise in the early morning or evening when it is cooler. Drink plenty of water or electrolyte replacement beverages. Take frequent breaks in the shade or in an air-conditioned facility. If you’re not unaccustomed to working or exercising in very hot weather, start slowly and gradually increase heat exposure over several weeks.
  • Wear light-colored, loose fitting clothing that allow perspiration to evaporate.
  • Do not leave children, senior citizens or pets alone in a vehicle.
  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat to prevent sunburn and heat-related illness. Wear sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays and reduce sunburn.
  • If your home or apartment is not air-conditioned, go to air-conditioned facilities such as multi-service centers, malls, movie theaters, libraries, etc.
  • Take frequent cool baths or showers if your home has no air-conditioning.
  • Signs of heat exhaustion include faintness, dizziness, excessive sweating, cool or clammy skin, nausea or vomiting, muscle cramps, and a rapid, weak pulse. Houston health department recommends lowering the body temperature by getting to a cooler place, drinking water, taking a cool shower or bath and resting.Confusion, a throbbing headache, lack of sweat, red, hot and dry skin, nausea or vomiting, loss of consciousness, and a rapid, strong pulse are signs of heat stroke.
  •  If you experience these symptoms, call 9-1-1 immediately. Try to lower the person’s body temperature until help arrives.”
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