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Residents Urged to Protect Themselves During Current Heat Wave. Local Cooling Centers Open

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Residents Urged to Protect Themselves During Current Heat Wave. Local Cooling Centers Open

Tuesday, July 6, 2010
With temperatures above 90 degrees and high humidity forecast through at least Thursday, local officials are urging residents to take the steps necessary to protect themselves from the danger of heat-related illness during the current heat wave. Tompkins County is currently under a heat advisory. A heat wave is defined as a period when temperatures of 90 degrees or more are predicted for at least three days.

Tompkins County and the American Red Cross have opened cooling two centers for people without air conditioning who are at high risk for health problems and have no other options during this difficult period. Cooling centers will be open at the following locations today through Friday, as needed during this heat wave:

- Greater Ithaca Activities Center (GIAC), 318 N. Albany Street, Ithaca.
Hours: 1:00-7:00 p.m.
Anyone coming to the cooling center will need to sign in and obtain a visitor tag. The center will be located at the "pee wee center" room on the first floor of the building on the Court Street side near the gymnasium.

- Friends Hall, Campus Road Cornell University, located at the East end of the Schoellkopf complex, near the stadium and across from Teagle Hall
Hours: 4:00-8:00 p.m. Tuesday; 2:00-8:00 p.m. for the rest of the week.

There will be no overnight cooling center service.

City, county and American Red Cross officials urge all residents to stay indoors as much as possible and limit their activity and sun exposure. They provide the following advice:

- If you do not have air conditioning, try to spend much of the day in a cooling center or another air-conditioned public building, such as libraries, movie theaters, shopping malls and other community facilities.
- Drink plenty of fluids, but stay away from those containing alcohol, caffeine or large amounts of sugar.
- If you're swimming to cool off, be sure to restrict your swimming to safe, designated areas.
- Be sure to check on family, friends and neighbors who do not have air conditioning, especially senior citizens, those with chronic illnesses and families with infants and young children.
- Protect your pets - keep them inside, with air-conditioning (or if your home is not air-conditioned, with multiple fans) and make sure they have plenty of water.
- Prepare for temporary power outages ahead of time by assembling essential supplies such as flashlights, batteries, bottled water and food.

More information on how to protect yourself during a heat emergency can be found at the Tompkins Ready web site. Direct link to "heat emergencies" section:
www.tompkinsready.org/disaster/heat.htm

For further information regarding local cooling centers, transportation, and other available non-emergency services during this heat wave, call 2-1-1.