June 17, 2024

Oneida County Warns of Extreme Heat; Cooling Centers Available

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Oneida County is warning residents of extreme heat that is forecasted for this week and is offering safety tips and listing cooling center locations.

“It is important to take extreme heat warnings seriously, as it can also be very dangerous and deadly,” said Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. “Take the necessary precautions to protect yourselves and please check on your family, friends, and neighbors.”

Extreme heat can trigger heat-related illness including heat cramps, heat exhaustion or heat stroke, which happen when the body is not able to properly cool itself. Heat cramps and heat exhaustion could require medical attention. Heat stroke is a serious medical emergency and 911 should be called right away.

Signs of heat-related illnesses include hot, red skin, fast pulse, headache, dizziness, nausea, confusion, fatigue and losing consciousness/passing out. If someone you know is experiencing these symptoms, get the person to a cooler place and seek medical attention.

With higher outside temperatures, anyone can be at risk of overheating, becoming dehydrated or suffering from a heat-related illness. Some people are at increased risk for heat-related illness, including children, older adults and those with chronic health conditions. People who work outdoors, pregnant women and people without air conditioning also have increased risk. Other factors that might increase the risk of developing a heat-related illness include obesity, prescription drug use, heart disease, mental illness, poor circulation, chronic disease and alcohol use.

Tips to avoid harm from the heat:

  • Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated.
  • Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
  • Take cool showers or baths.
  • Keep your house cooler by covering windows with drapes or shades and avoid using the oven if possible.
  • If available, use air conditioning, but do not rely on fans as primary cooling device as fans create air flow and a false sense of comfort, but do not reduce body temperature or prevent heat-related illnesses.
  • If you’re outside, find shade. Wear a hat wide enough to protect your face.
  • Avoid high-energy activities or work outdoors, during midday heat, if possible.
  • Do not leave children or pets in vehicles with the air conditioning turned off. Temperatures inside a closed vehicle can reach over 140 degrees within minutes.
  • Walk pets during cooler parts of the day and provide extra water throughout the day.

New York State operates cooling centers in Oneida County at the following locations:

  • Dunham Public Library (Whitesboro)
  • Jervis Public Library (Rome)
  • Kirkland Town Library (Clinton)
  • North Utica Senior Center (Utica)
  • Parkway Senior Center (Utica)
  • Sangertown Square (New Hartford)
  • Sherrill Kenwood Library (Sherrill)
  • South Rome Senior Center (Rome)
  • Utica Public Library (Utica)

Contact information and hours of operation for all cooling centers are available here:  https://apps.health.ny.gov/statistics/environmental/public_health_tracking/tracker/#/CCList.

For more information about extreme heat and your health, visit https://www.cdc.gov/extreme-heat/about/index.html.

Oneida County Partners