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Excessive Heat Over the Weekend

Galesburg, IL (July 23, 2021) The Knox County Health Department, Knox County Emergency Management Agency, and American Red Cross will be monitoring local conditions to see if the need arises for a formal cooling center to be opened over the next several days. Temperatures will be in the high 80s, but feel like the mid 90’s through the weekend. This combination of heat and humidity could be dangerous for those spending too much time outdoors. At-risk populations include the elderly and the very young who are most susceptible to heat and heat-related illnesses. Don't forget about your pets! They should have plenty of water and shade to get out of the hot sun.

Residents can use the lobby in the Public Safety Building as a cooling center at 150 South Broad Street in Galesburg. Should the need for a 24-hour cooling center arise, the Red Cross will be contacted immediately.

Heat-related illnesses can cause serious injury and even death if unattended. Signs of heat-related illnesses include nausea, dizziness, flushed or pale skin, heavy sweating and headaches. Persons with heat-related illness should be moved to a cool place, given cool water to drink and ice packs or cool wet cloths should be applied to the skin. If a victim refuses water, vomits, or loses consciousness, call 9-1-1 or your local emergency number immediately.

Some easy approaches to staying cool:

  • Prepare. Discuss heat safety precautions with members of your household. Have a plan for what to do if the power goes out.

  • Dress for the heat. Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Avoid dark colors because they absorb the sun’s rays. It is also a good idea to wear hats or to use an umbrella when in the sun.

  • Stay hydrated. Carry water or juice with you and drink continuously even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid drinks with alcohol or caffeine, which dehydrate the body.

  • Eat small meals and eat more often. Avoid high-protein foods, which increase metabolic heat.

  • Slow down and avoid strenuous activity. If you must do strenuous activity, do it during the coolest part of the day, which is usually in the morning between 4 and 7 a.m. Take frequent breaks.

  • Stay indoors when possible. If air-conditioning is not available, stay on the lowest floor out of the sunshine.

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