Dozens Beat the Heat at Area Cooling Shelters

By: Liz Hayes Email
By: Liz Hayes Email

There are serious dangers associated with extreme heat. According to Wisconsin Emergency Management, heat is the number one weather-related killer in the United States.

So the emergency management is promoting safety measures, including setting up designated cooling stations.

Click here to view a list all cooling shelters county by county.

Last summer, five people lost their lives from heat-related illnesses during a July heat wave, therefore getting out of the sweltering heat and climbing temperatures could be a matter of life or death.

Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are both serious health conditions.

Symptoms of heat exhaustion include: fainting, rash, fatigue, nausea and clammy skin. If these symptoms appear, experts recommend taking immediate action to reduce body temperature. You can do so by drinking more fluids, use fans to increase ventilation, and take a cool shower or bath.

The onset of heat stroke can be quick, and could lead to life-threatening within minutes. Symptoms are similar to heat exhaustion, but include an absence of perspiration; hot, dry red or mottled skin; slow respiration; mental confusion and signs of shock.

People at higher risk of heat-related illnesses are older adults, infants and young children, people with chronic health problems, overweight people, and those who work outdoors.

All public libraries within Marathon County have been designated cooling stations to help alleviate people from the outdoors, or lack of air conditioning.

"We were glad to be able to offer this to the community to be a spot where they can come in and get out of the heat," said Mike Hartkopf, customer service manager.

Robin Stieber and her children went to the Wausau library to escape the heat. She says they spent a little more time there than usual.

"It's just almost too hot to be outside, even transitioning from the car. It's just a nice, cool place to be and the kids like to read," Stieber said.

The Red Cross is also providing free bottles of water at the cooling stations.

While you're taking care of yourself, you may also want to check on your family, friends and neighbors who may be especially vulnerable to extreme heat.


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