Heat advisory issued for this weekend; cooling centers available

Map of public cooling centers located in Snohomish County (Courtesy Snohomish County Public Safety Hub)

The National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory for this weekend that remains in effect from noon on Saturday, June 25 to 11 p.m. on Monday, June 27.

Snohomish County’s Public Safety Hub notes that extreme heat events are becoming more frequent, intense and dangerous in the Pacific Northwest. More very hot days are expected to increase hospitalizations, demand for emergency medical services, and deaths. Extreme heat is the leading cause of weather-related deaths in the United States.

Heat-related illnesses, such as heat stroke and heat exhaustion occur when the body’s temperature rises faster than it can cool itself. This can cause damage to the brain and other vital organs. Everyone should take precautions during extreme heat. Those most at-risk include older adults, infants, young children, pregnant women, outdoor workers, households with low-incomes, people with limited mobility, and those with pre-existing or chronic medical conditions.

Health officials recommend spending more time in air-conditioned places and those who don’t have air conditioning in their home should consider visiting a shopping mall, library or other public location that does.

There are 25 public cooling centers listed in Snohomish County this summer. A map and complete list of those cooling centers can be viewed here.

Local options throughout the area include the public libraries located in Brier, Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood and Edmonds – although the Edmonds Library is currently closed temporarily. Additional cooling center locations in Edmonds include the Edmonds Waterfront Center and the Hazel Miller Spray Park.

Public safety tips for keeping cool in hot weather include:

– Drink water often, regardless of how active you are. Don’t wait until you are thirsty to drink. Sports drinks can also help by replacing salt and minerals you lose when you sweat.

– Avoid alcohol, caffeine and sugary drinks as they can dehydrate you.

– Take frequent breaks in activity.

– Avoid strenuous activity indoors or outdoors in high temperatures.

– Avoid outdoor activities during the hottest parts of the day, usually 3-6 p.m., and limit sun exposure.

– Use cold washcloths on neck or wrists.

– Close doors of unused rooms and close curtains or blinds to keep heat out.

– Avoid or limit use of ovens, stoves, or other appliances that increase indoor temperature.

– In extreme heat, a fan should not be relied on as the only method of cooling.

– Never leave a child, disabled adult, or pet unattended in a vehicle. When not in
use, lock vehicles so children cannot climb inside and become trapped.

– Check frequently on people who are elderly, ill, or may need help.

– If you might need help, arrange to have family, friends, or neighbors check in
with you at least twice a day throughout warm weather periods.

More information about protecting various types of vulnerable populations/groups from extreme heat can be viewed here.

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