Due to the excessive heat forecast for Wednesday, July 17th, through Friday, the 19th, the Department of Community Services will be opening their buildings for use by the general public from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The buildings include: Kent Island Senior Center, Grasonville Senior Center, Kramer Center, and Sudlersville Senior Center. Each building is air conditioned and has an ice machine and water readily available. Regularly scheduled classes and programs will proceed as normal; however, accommodations will be made for those in the community who are in need of a cool retreat for those days. Please contact this department at 410-758-0848 if you are aware of any vulnerable citizens who do not have access to a cool environment.
The following information is provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
Your body normally cools itself by sweating. During hot weather, especially with high humidity, sweating just isn’t enough. Your body temperature can rise to dangerous levels and you can develop a heat illness. Most heat illnesses occur from staying out in the heat too long. Exercising too much for your age and physical condition are also factors. Older adults, young children and those who are sick or overweight are most at risk. Drinking fluids, replenishing salt and minerals and limiting time in the heat can help.
Heat-related illnesses include
• Heatstroke – a life-threatening illness in which body temperature may rise above 106° F in minutes; symptoms include dry skin, rapid, strong pulse and dizziness
• Heat exhaustion – an illness that can precede heatstroke; symptoms include heavy sweating, rapid breathing and a fast, weak pulse
• Heat cramps – muscle pains or spasms that happen during heavy exercise
• Heat rash – skin irritation from excessive sweating
For additional heat safety & preparedness information, visit the following website: http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/heat/index.shtml and call 911 in the event of an emergency! Stay safe and cool!
With a scorching-hot summer reaching a point of devastation this past weekend, Secretary of Aging Gloria Lawlah urged Marylanders to check on any older or disabled friends, neighbors or family members to make sure they have access to adequate resources during this difficult time. Governor Martin O’Malley issued a State of Emergency on Saturday in the wake of a violent, hurricane-like storm called a derecho which covered the state, causing widespread power outages, snarling traffic, and complicating relief efforts to combat the intense heat in the region during the month. The Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) posted on its website a list of cooling centers operating around the state, some steps to take to avoid heat-related illness, and a map showing where power outages occurred in the region.
“The storm that touched down on Friday continues to cause a great deal of pain and suffering for Maryland families – and especially so for the most fragile among us: seniors and the disabled,” according to Secretary Lawlah. “If you know of anyone without proper cooling and ventilation where they live, please help them get to one of the designated cooling centers and encourage them to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids.”
During the past two weeks, a string of days with temperatures hovering in the 90’s and heat indices rising to a hundred degrees or more caused MEMA and health departments in the local jurisdictions to open cooling centers and alert the public to the dangers of such extreme heat. The situation went from bad to worse late Friday night when an unexpectedly violent storm system quickly wreaked havoc across a wide swath of the Mid-Atlantic states, including Maryland.
A reported 840,000 Marylanders lost electricity because of the storm, trees and branches littered roadways in the wake of the powerful winds, and many traffic lights are still out across the State. The debris-filled roads, numerous detours, and non-working traffic lights have been frustrating and confusing to many drivers. Because the sweltering heat continues, many families without power are staying with friends or relatives, or renting rooms at local hotels.
For updated information, visit the Department of Aging’s website at www.aging.maryland.gov and its Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/MarylandDepartmentofAging.