Check on others in extreme heat, cooling centers open

Joplin Check On Others In Extreme Heat Cooling Centers Open
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JOPLIN, Mo. – Many of us are feeling the heat. Excessive heat warnings and heat advisories are active for much of the 4-State area.

As the heat index increases to dangerously high levels, officials are sharing advice and opening cooling centers to help residents stay healthy.

>> Read the KOAM Weather Blog for the latest

>>Related: Keeping kids cool in cars prevents heatstroke-related death in children

The City of Joplin reminds folks to check on family members, neighbors and friends to ensure their environment is adequate to endure the hot conditions. If you’re in need of a cooling center, check with your city officials.

In Joplin, cooling centers include several public buildings. These locations are open from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday through Friday.

  • City Hall, 602 South Main
  • Joplin Health Department, 321 East 4th Street
  • Dr. Donald Clark Public Safety Center, 303 East 3rd
  • Joplin Athletic Center, 3301 West 1st Street

The City of Joplin is asking people to respect others’ space and leave about six feet between each other.

“The City wants to be a good neighbor, and we allow access to our public space during normal business hours,” he said. “We also encourage our area houses of worship, clubs, civic organizations, and businesses to follow suit and open their public areas as well.”

Emergency Manager Keith Stammer says generally, these areas don’t open as cooling centers until temperatures reach 100 degrees. However, they’re open now since the forecast is moving toward that possibility.

Spreading the word / Finding Shelters and Cooling Centers

Joplin officials say the Jasper County’s COAD (Community Organizations Active in Disasters) will help spread the word when shelters are warranted and will act as a common notification point through its Facebook page.

“It’s important for all of us to be good neighbors,” Stammer said. “We should check on each other and offer what help we can for relief from the heat.”

The State of Missouri has a cooling center locator. You can find that below, or, click here.

In Kansas, Oklahoma and Arkansas, you can contact local 2-1-1 for assistance and referrals to cooling centers.

If you have a cooling center in your community, please email the location and hours to sstrader@koamnewsnow.com. As we are notified of official cooling centers, KOAM will publish them on our site. You can search “Cooling Centers” or “Cooling Stations” at KOAMNewsNow.com for more.

According to the City of Pittsburg, it does not have any official cooling centers.

Tips to Remember during Heat Waves from the City of Joplin

Important tips to remember during heat waves include:

  • Slow down: reduce, eliminate or reschedule strenuous activities until the coolest time of the day. Children, seniors, and anyone with health problems should stay in the coolest available place, not necessarily indoors.
  • Dress for summer. Wear light loose-fitting, light-colored clothing to reflect heat and sunlight.
  • Eat light, cool, easy-to-digest foods such as fruit or salads. If you pack food, put it in a cooler or carry an ice pack. Don’t leave it sitting in the sun. Meats and dairy products can spoil quickly in hot weather.
  • Drink plenty of water (not very cold), non-alcoholic and decaffeinated fluids, even if you don’t feel thirsty. If you are on a fluid restrictive diet or have a problem with fluid retention, consult a physician before increasing consumption of fluids.
  • Use air conditioners or spend time in air-conditioned locations such as malls and libraries.
  • Use portable electric fans to exhaust hot air from rooms or draw in cooler air.
  • Do not direct the flow of portable electric fans toward yourself when room temperature is hotter than 90°F. The dry blowing air will dehydrate you faster, endangering your health.
  • Minimize direct exposure to the sun. Sunburn reduces your body’s ability to dissipate heat.
  • Take a cool bath or shower.
  • Do not take salt tablets unless specified by a physician.
  • Check on older, sick, or frail people who may need help responding to the heat. Each year, dozens of children and untold numbers of pets left in parked vehicles die from hyperthermia.  Keep your children, disabled adults, and pets safe during tumultuous heat waves.
  • Don’t leave valuable electronic equipment, such as cell phones, sitting in hot cars.
  • Make sure rooms are well vented if you are using volatile chemicals.

Also, pet owners are reminded to check on pets/companion animals to ensure they have cool water and shade during extreme heat temperatures.

Keeping pets cool in extreme heat

How to keep your pets safe during excessive heat