Windham residents can escape heat at cooling center

·3 min read

Aug. 4—WILLIMANTIC — In anticipation of the heat, a cooling center will be set up for Windham residents at the senior/ community center today and Friday.

The building, which is at Jillson Square, will act as a cooling center until 7 p. m. those days.

During the town council meeting on Tuesday, Windham Town Manager Jim Rivers said there is expected to be " oppressive heat and humidity" those days.

A cooling center was set up at the same location last weekend.

" We did get a few people who came into the community center, so that was worth it to do that," Rivers said.

The senior/ community center opens at 8 a. m. on Thursday and at 8:30 a.m. on Friday.

According to weatherchannel. com, a heat advisory is in effect from 11 a.m. today until Friday at 8 p.m. During that time frame, heat index values up to 105 are expected.

Gov. Ned Lamont announced Monday he was activating the state's extreme hot weather protocol. The protocol was activated beginning at 8 a. m. on Tuesday and will remain in effect through 8 p. m. on Friday. Temperatures are expected to be in the 90s over the next several days.

" The stretch of hot weather coming this week isn't expected to be quite as hot and humid as the most recent wave we had a few days ago, but the temperatures will still be very high and anyone who anticipates spending long periods of time outdoors should take caution," Lamont said in a press release.

He said the protocol is designed to ensure that the " most vulnerable" populations receive protection from the heat. The state worked with non- profits and other partners to make cooling centers available throughout the state.

While anyone can suffer from heat- related illness, the following people are most vulnerable: infants and young children; people ages 65 and older; people who are overweight; people who overexert during work or exercise; people who are physically ill, especially those with heart disease or high blood pressure or who take certain medications, such as medications for depression, insomnia or poor circulation.

Lamont's office issued the following tips to stay safe in extreme heat: " Keep your body tem perature cool.

" Stay in air-conditioned buildings as much as possible.

" Limit outdoor activity to the morning and evening.

" Rest often in shady areas.

" Avoid direct sunlight. " Wear lightweight, light- colored clothing.

" Take cool showers or baths.

" Check on vulnerable people several times- a- day.

" Never leave pets inside parked vehicles. Temperatures can rise to life- threatening levels within minutes.

" Go to an air-conditioned shelter.

" Make sure any pets that can not be brought indoors ready access to water and shade.

" Drink two to four cups of water every hour while exercising or working outside.

" Don't wait until you're thirsty to drink more liquids.

" Avoid alcohol or liquids with a lot of sugar.

For more information about cooling centers, call 2- 1- 1 or look online at 211ct. org.

Follow Michelle Warren on Twitter — @mwarrentc.