During these dangerous hot days, Safe Harbor is a cooling station. That means that anyone in the community can come into our shelter and get relief from the heat. It was just announced recently that the #1 cause of weather-related deaths is Heat Exposure! Not tornadoes, hurricanes or flash-flooding. It’s the heat! Because heat exposure can be a slow process, someone exposed may not even realize that their body temperature is rising to a deadly level. Too many times on the news you will hear about a senior citizen or homeless person who died due to heat exposure. The first step in preventing heat exposure is to understand the warnings that are issued by the media.
Here are the warnings and their meanings:
- Excessive Heat Watch – Conditions are favorable for an excessive heat event to meet or exceed local Excessive Heat Warning criteria in the next 24 to 72 hours.
- Heat Advisory – Heat Index values are forecasting to meet locally defined advisory criteria for 1 to 2 days (daytime highs= 100-105° Fahrenheit).
- Excessive Heat Warning – Heat Index values are forecasting to meet or exceed locally defined warning criteria for at least 2 days (daytime highs= 105-110° Fahrenheit).
The next step is to take action. if you or someone you know are without access to air-conditioning, take precautions! There are many public places like libraries and malls that are open and free to the public and of course during these dangerous hot days, Safe Harbor is a cooling station for the entire community.
The CDC has tips to protect yourself from the heat:
- Stay cool, stay hydrated, and stay informed.
- If you do not have air conditioning, visit a shopping mall or public library for a few hours or call your local health department to find any heat-relief shelters in your area.
- Drink plenty of fluids (nonalcoholic), regardless of your activity level.
- Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
- NEVER leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle, including pets.
- Visit older adults or others at risk at least twice a day and closely watch them for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
Safe Harbor typically opens our “Cooling Station” at 12:30 on designated “Red Days”. That could change and if you ever need more information please call our shelter at 610-692-6550.