MIDDLESEX COUNTY — The Middlesex County Office of Emergency Management in consultation with Freeholder Director Christopher D. Rafano has declared an “Excessive Heat Pattern” and has instituted the Middlesex County Excessive Heat Plan.
Middlesex County residents who need to go to a cooling shelter should contact their Municipal Office of Emergency Management or Municipal Office of Aging first.
If a municipality cannot accommodate them, County residents can contact the Middlesex County Office of Emergency Management at 1-732-727-9009.
Middlesex County has two “cooling centers” available at the following locations and hours of operation:
Middlesex County Administration Building
1st Floor Freeholder’s Meeting Room
75 Bayard Street
9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Middlesex County Fire Academy
1001 Fire Academy Dr. (Off Main St. Extension)
10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
The centers are scheduled to be open today and Wednesday.
Transportation to one of the County cooling centers is available by contacting Middlesex County OEM at 1-732-727-9009. Transportation will be arranged through Middlesex County Area Transit (MCAT).
You will need to provide your name, address, telephone number and whether you have special needs.
All Residents Urged to Take Appropriate Precautions
The Middlesex County Public Health Department advises residents to take appropriate precautions from the heat. The persons at highest risk of extreme heat are the elderly, the very young and people with mental illness and chronic diseases. However even young and healthy individuals can be affected by the heat.
Heat-related complications, such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke, occur when a person’s body cannot properly cool itself. A person’s body temperature may raise rapidly causing damage to the brain or other vital organs.
These complications are preventable if people are aware of what precautions to take.
To avoid health complications from excessive heat:
• Drink plenty of water or other non-alcoholic beverages.
• Make sure children and the elderly are drinking water, and ensure that persons with mobility problems have adequate fluids in easy reach.
• If you do not have air conditioning, spend time in air-conditioned places such as libraries, movies, malls or other public buildings during the hottest hours of the day. Check with your municipality to see if cooling centers are available.
• Wear loose and light-colored clothing. Wear a hat when outdoors.
• Avoid any outdoor activity during the hottest hours of the day. Reduce physical activity or reschedule it for cooler times of the day.
• Don’t leave children, a frail elderly or disabled person, or pets in an enclosed car — not even for a minute — as temperatures can quickly climb to dangerous levels.
• Talk to your health care provider about any medicine or drugs you are taking. Certain medications — such as tranquilizers and drugs used to treat Parkinson’s disease — can increase the risk of heat-related illness.
People suffering heatstroke can go from appearing normal to extremely ill in a matter of minutes. Victims may have hot, dry skin, a high body temperature of 106 degrees or more, an absence of sweat, and a rapid and strong pulse. Victims may become delirious or unconscious. Persons suffering from heatstroke need immediate medical attention.
Heat exhaustion is a milder illness that may take several days of high temperatures to develop. Victims may have pale, clammy skin and sweat profusely. They may feel tired, weak or dizzy and have headaches or sometimes cramps, but their body temperature will remain close to normal.
For more information on preventing heat-related illness, please visit the County Public Health Department Web site at http://co.middlesex.nj.us/publichealth.
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