The National Weather Service says temperatures this week will be in the upper 90s, and the heat index for the region – factoring in those temperatures and also humidity – will make it feel well over 100 degrees.
Annapolis will open a cooling center in the Pip Moyer Recreation Center, 273 Hilltop Lane, from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. today on Tuesday, said city spokeswoman Rhonda Wardlaw.
The decision on whether to open the center on subsequent days will be made on a day-to-day basis, Wardlaw said.
Anne Arundel County hasn't opened any cooling centers, but emergency officials are monitoring the weather closely, said Tracie Reynolds, a spokeswoman for the county.
Dr. David Rose, Anne Arundel's deputy health officer, said one misconception people have about the heat is that a fan will keep you cool. But a fan isn't enough when the temperature soars well into the 90s.
"Unfortunately, it will not prevent these heat-related illnesses," Rose said. "You need air conditioning."
To help beat the heat, health officials suggest people wear light-colored, lightweight, loose-fitting clothing, a hat and sunscreen; increase fluid intake; drink nonalcoholic and caffeine-free liquids; and stay out of the sun from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., if possible.
Officials also warned against leaving children or pets unattended in cars, and suggested that people check on elderly friends, family and neighbors who live alone.
Residents should be aware of the symptoms of heat-related illness, including extreme weakness, muscle cramps, nausea, headache, possible vomiting or fainting, dry red skin, convulsions, disorientation, delirium or coma.