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City of Peabody issues heat warning, opens cooling center

Posted by Ryan Mooney  June 20, 2012 12:42 PM

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The following was submitted by the office of Mayor Edward Bettencourt:

Mayor Edward A. Bettencourt, Jr. would like to warn residents about the dangers associated with the excessive heat that may affect the city over the next few days.

"We want to make sure that our Peabody residents, particularly our seniors, stay safe during this period of extreme heat," Bettencourt said. "We will be opening the Torigian Community Life Center, at 79 Central Street, in Peabody, as a 'cooling center' to anyone who needs a place to stay cool during the next two days."

Residents who need transportation to the Life Center should contact them at (978) 531-2254 (ask for the Transportation Office) between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Residents who need transportation after those hours may contact the Peabody Police Department at (978) 531-1212. The Life Center will remain open until 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 20 and Thursday, June 21.

Please note that this cooling center will not be an overnight shelter.

In addition, the Peabody Police Department will be looking for people outdoors and involved in activities that could induce heat stroke. They will be providing them with bottled water and educating people they service as to the dangers of extreme heat.

During the high heat and humidity expected today and tomorrow, the city of Peabody recommends that residents take the following measures to prevent heat-related illness:

- Avoid too much sun and avoid extreme temperature changes.

- Avoid strenuous activity and direct exposure to the sun, particularly during peak hours of 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.

- Avoid alcohol. Alcohol can actually harm one's ability to cool oneself.

- Keep rooms well-ventilated with air conditioners and fans. Do not keep your windows closed if you don't have a fan or air conditioning. Any breeze is a good breeze!

- Stay indoors as much as possible.

- Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing that will cover as much skin as possible.

- Cool down with repeated cool baths or showers, especially if there is no electrical power.

- Protect face and head by wearing a wide-brimmed hat.

- Plan outdoor activities for early morning or evening hours. Take frequent breaks.

- Drink plenty of fluids, even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid beverages with lots of sugar or caffeine.

- NEVER leave children or pets alone in closed vehicles.

At any time, residents who experience signs of heat stroke (high body temperature; hot, dry skin; rapid strong pulse; possible dizziness or loss of consciousness) should immediately contact 911 and request emergency medical assistance.

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