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UPDATE: GIAC Cooling Center Will Not Be Open Friday. Residents Urged to Continue to Protect Themselves From Heat-Related Illness

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> UPDATE: GIAC Cooling Center Will Not Be Open Friday. Residents Urged to Continue to Protect Themselves From Heat-Related Illness

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UPDATE: GIAC Cooling Center Will Not Be Open Friday. Residents Urged to Continue to Protect Themselves From Heat-Related Illness

Thursday, July 8, 2010
The heat emergency cooling center located at Ithaca's Greater Ithaca Activities Center (GIAC) will close as of 7:00 this evening and will not reopen on Friday. The cooling center is located on the first floor of the GIAC building, at 306 W. Court Street.

The Tompkins County Chapter of the American Red Cross, which has been operating the cooling center, reports that no one has come to a local cooling station over the past three days and, since weather is forecast to become somewhat cooler tomorrow, it has been decided not to reopen the center on Friday. Officials, however, will continue to monitor the situation, in case further precautionary measures are warranted.

Tompkins County and the Red Cross set up cooling centers assist people in need during the heat wave that began on Tuesday. While a local cooling center will not be operating on Friday, officials advise that the air-conditioned Lifelong facility at 119 W. Court Street in Ithaca is available Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. for those who need respite from the heat.

While the heat is expected to ease up a bit in coming days, people should be aware that heat stress may be cumulative and medical symptoms may occur even after the temperatures begin cooling. Symptoms may include dizziness, fainting, breathing problems and chest pain; these may represent serious medical problems and a medical provider or 9-1-1 should be called immediately.

People need to continue to maintain proper nutrition and hydration to offset the effects of heat stress and can follow these prevention tips:

  • Drink cool, nonalcoholic beverages. (If your doctor generally limits the amount of fluid you drink or has you on water pills, ask the physician how much you should drink when the weather is hot. Also, avoid extremely cold liquids because they can cause cramps.)
  • Rest.
  • Take a cool shower, bath, or sponge bath.
  • If possible, seek an air-conditioned environment. (If you don"t have air conditioning, consider visiting an air-conditioned shopping mall or public library to cool off.)
  • Wear lightweight clothing.
  • If possible, remain indoors in the heat of the day.
  • Do not engage in strenuous activities.

    People should call 9-1-1 if they are experiencing difficulty breathing, chest pain, light headedness, or passing out.

    More information on protective measures to take during a heat emergency can be found at the Tompkins Ready web site at www.tompkinsready.org/disaster/heat.htm.

    For further information on available non-emergency services related to the heat wave, residents are encouraged to call 2-1-1.