Due to the forecast high temperature and humidity, resulting is a heat index potentially over 100 degrees, I have ordered that the New Britain Senior Center, at 55 Pearl Street, be open as a cooling center from 12 noon to 6pm tomorrow, Saturday, July 6th.
I urge all city residents to exercise caution because of the heat and to check with relatives and neighbors who might be vulnerable to the conditions to ensure that they are OK.
Here is additional information the City would like you to be aware of:
With summer upon us and temperatures over 90 degrees expected over the next few days, the New Britain Health Director is urging all those who work outdoors or in other hot environments to learn to recognize and protect themselves from heat stress. Exposure to extreme heat remains a leading preventable cause of suffering and death. According to the Connecticut Department of Public Health, each year in the US, several hundred people are killed by heat related conditions, and thousands become ill. People at risk for heat related illness are those who are unable to cool themselves adequately during extreme heat.
During hot weather, especially when temperatures are extremely high, remember to keep cool and use common sense. The following tips are important:
- Drink Plenty of Fluids
- Increase your fluid intake, regardless of your activity level. Don't wait until you're thirsty to drink. During heavy exercise in a hot environment, drink two to four glasses (16-32 ounces) of cool fluids each hour.
- Warning: If your doctor generally limits the amount of fluid you drink or has you on water pills, ask your doctor about additional fluid consumption in hot weather.
- Don't drink liquids that contain alcohol, or large amounts of sugar—these actually cause you to lose more body fluid. Also avoid very cold drinks, because they can cause stomach cramps.
- Replace Salt and Minerals
- Heavy sweating removes salt and minerals from the body. These are necessary for your body and must be replaced. If you must exercise, drink two to four glasses of cool, non-alcoholic fluids each hour. A sports beverage can replace the salt and minerals you lose in sweat. However, if you are on a low-salt diet, talk with your doctor before drinking a sports beverage or taking salt tablets.
- Wear Appropriate Clothing and Sunscreen
- Wear as little clothing as possible when you are at home. Choose lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing. Sunburn affects your body's ability to cool itself and causes a loss of body fluids. It also causes pain and damages the skin. If you must go outdoors, protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat (also keeps you cooler) along with sunglasses, and apply sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher (the most effective products say "broad spectrum" or "UVA/UVB protection" on their labels) 30 minutes prior to going out. Continue to reapply it according to the package directions.
- Pace Yourself
- If you are not accustomed to working or exercising in a hot environment, start slowly and pick up the pace gradually. If exertion in the heat makes your heart pound and leaves you gasping for breath, STOP all activity. Get into a cool area or at least into the shade, and rest, especially if you become lightheaded, confused, weak, or faint.
- Stay Cool Indoors
- Stay indoors and, if at all possible, stay in an air-conditioned place. If your home does not have air conditioning, go to the shopping mall or public library—even a few hours spent in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler when you go back into the heat. Call your local health department to see if there are any heat-relief shelters in your area. Electric fans may provide comfort, but when the temperature is in the high 90s, fans will not prevent heat-related illness. Take a cool shower or bath or move to an air-conditioned place.
- If you don't have air conditioning, spend some time in the New Britain Senior Center. The Senior Center is available to residents as a drop-in site to provide relief from the heat. This is a short term “drop in” cooling station. The Senior Center is regularly available Monday through Friday from 8:15am until 4:00am and is located on 55 Pearl Street.