The City of Roanoke has created a strategy to protect the public from the heat. Annie L. Awbrey Public Library will be designated a cooling center for Roanoke citizens.
Cooling centers are places where you can cool down during hot weather. The use of cooling centers is a common strategy in large cities.
Spending at least a few hours in air conditioning reduces the risk of heat-related illness, particularly during multiple days of extreme heat. Air conditioning is important for vulnerable groups of people. The most common heat-related illnesses are heat stroke, exhaustion, cramps and rash.
Symptoms include confusion, irritability, headache, heart rhythm problems, dizziness, faint, nausea, vomiting, visual problems, and fatigue. You may need immediate medical attention to prevent brain damage, organ failure or even death.
The Red Cross recommends while outdoors, slow down, dress lightly, eat lightly and drink plenty of water that is cool, but not too cold. Use air conditioners and electric fans to ease discomfort and rash. Even though it may be tempting to be outdoors, minimizing direct exposure to sunlight can protect you, overall, from heat stroke.
According to Roanoke Mayor Jill Patterson Hicks, “Public safety is and will always be a priority. This week we have seen dangerously record-high temperatures. The Annie L. Awbrey Public Library will be open as a cooling station. Please stay hydrated, cool and safe.”
The library will have free bottled water available. Stop by, cool off and read the newspaper. The library is open Monday through Friday from 9-5 and on Saturday 9-noon.