Fulton County’s Housing and Human Services Department, Office of Aging, is opening cooling centers weekdays to seniors in need of a cooler environment to ensure their health and safety during days when temperatures are expected to rise as high as 100 degrees or more.
The four senior multipurpose facilities will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday to seniors living in the county. Any residents without air conditioning are urged to visit one of the four senior multipurpose facilities. Additionally, neighborhood senior facilities will be available between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. weekdays during dangerously high temperatures. For a listing of senior multipurpose facilities and neighborhood senior centers, residents can call the Fulton County STARline at (404) 613-6000 or visit www.fultoncountyga.gov/divisions-and-programs/office-of-aging.
The Atlanta Fulton County Emergency Management Agency offers the following tips to cope with extreme heat:
o Stay indoors in air-conditioned spaces as much as possible and limit exposure to the sun.
o Dress in loose-fitting, lightweight and light-colored clothes that cover as much skin as possible.
o Familiarize yourself with the medical conditions that can result from overexposure to heat, including heat exhaustion and heat stroke to help lessen health threats and harm.
o Avoid strenuous work during the warmest part of the day. Use a buddy system when working in extreme heat and take frequent breaks.
o Never leave children or pets alone in closed vehicles.
o Make sure pets have plenty of water and shade. Be careful to not over-exercise them, and keep them indoors when it’s extremely hot.
o Closely monitor a local radio station, TV station or NOAA weather radio for the latest information on excessive heat watches and warnings.
Emergency preparedness information: (404) 730-5600.
Heat safety guidelines
The American Red Cross offers tips on recognizing potential heat-related health problems. The following guidelines were taken from the American Red Cross publication “Be Red Cross Ready: Heat Wave Safety Checklist:
o Heat cramps are muscular pains and spasms that usually occur in the legs or abdomen caused by exposure to high heat and humidity and loss of fluids and electrolytes. Heat cramps are often an early sign that the body is having trouble with the heat.
o Heat exhaustion typically involves the loss of body fluids through heavy sweating during strenuous exercise or physical labor in high heat and humidity. Signs of heat exhaustion include cool, moist, pale or flushed skin; heavy sweating; headache; nausea; dizziness; weakness; and exhaustion.
o Move the person to a cooler place. Remove or loosen tight clothing and apply cool, wet cloths or towels to the skin. Fan the person. If the person is conscious, give small amounts of cool water to drink. Make sure the person drinks slowly. Watch for changes in condition.
o If the person refuses water, vomits or begins to lose consciousness, call 911 or the local emergency number. Heat stroke (also known as sunstroke) is a life-threatening condition in which a person’s temperature control system stops working and the body is unable to cool itself.
o Signs of heat stroke include hot, red skin, which may be dry or moist; changes in consciousness; vomiting; and high body temperature.
o Heat stroke is life-threatening. Call 911 or the local emergency number immediately. Move the person to a cooler place. Quickly cool the person’s body by giving care as you would for heat exhaustion. If needed, continue rapid cooling by applying ice or cold packs wrapped in a cloth to the wrists, ankles, groin, and neck and armpits.
To see additional guidelines in “Be Red Cross Ready: Heat Wave Safety Checklist,” visit www.RedCross.Org.