(WKBN) – With temperatures expected to rise, you need to make sure you and your loved ones are staying cool.
Cooling stations are opening up around the Valley. Temperatures are expected to be in the 90s.
- A cooling center will be available at Cortland Christian Church, located at 153 Grove Dr. It will be open from 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday. Those entering should use the rear Fellowship Hall doors.
- The Community and Learning Center, 110 Maine Blvd.. The cooling center will be open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from noon until 8 p.m. The center offers activities for kids and free movies that can be watched in an air-conditioned environment. Other activities for adults will also take place.
- Municipal Building’s council chambers: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. for the next couple of days. Those needing help after-hours can call police at 330-542-2234. Police maintain an indoor kennel for pets as needed.
- The Niles Wellness Center (213 Sharkey Dr.) will be open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday for Niles residents in need of a cool environment.
- Vienna Fire Department (833 Youngstown Kingsville Rd.): 10 a.m. until dark.
- Salvation Army (270 Franklin St. SE): Thursday, July 18 and Friday, July 19 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
People may want to spend most of the day in the air conditioning, but that results in a high electric bill.
FirstEnergy said it is not expecting any issues with power in the area over the next several days.
“At this time, we are not expecting any issues with the availability of power, so our customers should see continued normal operations,” spokesperson Jennifer Young said. “We’ll have folks ready and on standby if power outages do occur.”
FirstEnergy has some tips for conserving energy during the heat:
- Set thermostats as high as comfort will allow. Heating and cooling together take up about 50% of the typical home’s total energy bill, costing the average homeowner more than $700 a year. Every degree a customer can increase the temperature in their home will result in using about 2% less energy during the hottest summer days.
- During sunny weather, close drapes or blinds on windows facing the sun to prevent direct radiant heating from impacting indoor temperatures.
- Use fans. Moving air cools skin faster, resulting in greater comfort on hot days.
- Use a programmable thermostat to keep temperatures higher when no one is home and to reduce the temperature before you get back home.
- Only use window air conditioners when someone is in the room.
- Keep refrigerators and freezers as full as possible. Frozen or cold items in the refrigerator help keep other items cool, reducing the amount of work the refrigerator has to do to maintain a lower temperature.
- Close rooms that aren’t used regularly during the summer and close the air conditioning vents in those rooms as well.
- Avoid using heat-producing appliances during the hottest hours of the day. The less heat produced at home, the less work the air conditioner will do.
- Consider investing in ENERGY STAR® appliances or heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. FirstEnergy’s utilities may offer rebates on these purchases and tax deductions may also apply.
- Check air conditioner and furnace fan filters. Clogged filters waste energy and money by forcing HVAC systems to work harder than necessary.
If you’re not careful to stay cool, you could fall victim to mild dehydration, heat cramps and even heat stroke.
“You might start to get a headache, you might start to feel a little nauseous. Certainly, if you’re feeling dizzy, those are all signs that you’re getting dehydrated and you may be in a set-up for a heat emergency,” said Dr. Tom Waters, with the Cleveland Clinic.
When it’s this hot, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
“You notice that they’re not acting right. Certainly, if they’re acting confused or they’re just not themselves, that’s a sign that they could be developing heat stroke and you need to definitely get them removed from the heat,” Waters said. “If they do not recover quickly from that and, certainly, if they do have that altered mental status, you need to get them to the closest emergency department right away.”
Here are some tips for dealing with the heat:
- Listen to local weather forecasts and stay aware of upcoming temperature changes.
- Be aware of both the temperature and heat index. The heat index is the temperature the body feels when the effects of heat and humidity are combined.
- Discuss heat safety precautions with members of your household. Have a plan for wherever you spend time — home, work and school — and prepare for power outages.
- Check the contents of your emergency disaster kit in case the power goes out.
- Know those in your neighborhood who are elderly, young, sick, overweight or do not have air conditioning. They are more likely to become victims of excessive heat and may need help.
- Choose places you could go for relief from the heat during the warmest part of the day (schools, libraries, theaters, malls).
- Be aware that people living in urban areas may be at greater risk from the effects of a prolonged heatwave than people living in rural areas.
- Get trained in first aid to learn how to treat heat-related emergencies.
- Ensure your animals’ needs for water and shade are met.
- Never leave children or pets in the car.
- Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids, even if you don’t feel thirsty. Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol.
- Eat small meals and eat more often.
- Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
- Slow down, stay inside and avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day.
- Postpone outdoor games and activities.
- Use a buddy system when working outside and take frequent breaks.