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Southington to Open Cooling Centers for Summer Heat Wave

Both the Southington Public Library and Calendar House Senior Center will be open Wednesday, Thursday and Friday as temperatures are expected to climb into the high 90s.

The weather is heating up, with temperatures expected to climb into the high 90s on Wednesday and Thursday, but Southington officials and state workers are taking steps to make sure residents have a place to cool off.

Garry Brumback and the each announced Tuesday that the town will offer cooling stations this week for residents to take advantage of indoor activities and get out of the heat.

“As the hot weather approaches us, it is important we take certain precautions in order to prevent serious heat-related illness or even death,” said Shane Lockwood, director of the Plainville-Southington Regional Health District. "Healthy people of any age can experience heat-related illness such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke when their bodies are unable to handle the high temperatures."

Residents will have access to the , 388 Pleasant St., from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and at the , 255 Main St., from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday. Both places will offer air conditioning and water for those who drop by.

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The National Weather Service is calling for temperatures to reach a high of 96 degrees on today and 97 degrees on Thursday with considerable sunshine before thunderstorms move in and temperatures cool back into the mid-80s on Friday.

Lockwood is asking residents to not only consider using the town's designated cooling centers, but to consider the following safety tips as well:

  • Air-conditioning is the number one protective factor against heat-related illness and death. During conditions of extreme heat, spend time in locations with air-conditioning such as libraries, senior centers or large stores and shopping malls.
  • Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of fluids, even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid drinks with caffeine, alcohol or too much sugar because they can cause you to lose excessive fluids from the body.
  • Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Wear a hat. Avoid dark colors because they absorb the sun’s rays.
  • Wear sunscreen and lip balm with SPF 15 or higher. Apply the sunscreen at least 30 minutes before going outside.
  • Slow down, stay indoors and avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day. Postpone outdoor games and activities.
  • Take frequent breaks if you must work outdoors, and use a buddy system when working in excessive heat.
  • Check on family, friends and neighbors who do not have air conditioning, who spend much of their time alone or who are more likely to be affected by the heat.
  • Never leave children or pets alone in enclosed vehicles. Check on your animals frequently to ensure that they are not suffering from the heat.
  • Symptoms of heat exhaustion include pale and clammy skin, heavy perspiration, dizziness, weakness, headache or cramps, nausea and fainting. Seek medical attention immediately if the symptoms are severe or the victim has a history of heart problems or high blood pressure. Otherwise help the victim cool off and seek medical attention if symptoms worsen or last longer than an hour.
  • Symptoms of heat stroke, which can be caused by over-exposure to direct sunlight, are high body temperature, skin that is red and dry, rapid pulse, and loss of consciousness. Heat stroke can lead to death if untreated. An individual with any of these symptoms should seek immediate medical attention.

Anyone with questions is also encouraged to contact the Plainville-Southington Health District at (860) 276-6275.

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Amos J June 20, 2012 at 10:24 AM
It's nice these cooling centers are made available. Unfortunately for those taking advantage of them, they're closing right at the time of peak heat (4-6 pm). You can't write comedy this good. Enjoy your nice air conditioned home this evening, Mr. Brumback!

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