While forecasters are anticipating excessive heat and humidity this week, the Carroll County Department of Citizens Services, Human Services Programs and the county public library will operate cooling centers throughout the county.
Residents who are vulnerable to extreme heat and who do not have air conditioning in their homes are encouraged to cool off in the following locations until the close of business, according to a county news release.
While Day Center at St. Paul’s United Church of Christ at 17 Bond Street in Westminster remains open daily from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. and is available as a cooling center, all branches of the Carroll County Public Library will also act as cooling centers Monday through Wednesday between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m.
Other cooling centers are open Wednesday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. at several senior and community centers in the county including Mount Airy, North Carroll, South Carroll and Taneytown.
Celene Steckel, director of the Department of Citizen Services, said the cooling centers are for any individual who finds themselves without air conditioning when outdoor temperatures are high.
“We provide a relief from the heat to folks who may not have air conditioning or family locally,” she said. “It’s a safe space for people.”
She added the libraries and senior centers are the ideal locations as they can be found throughout the county.
“It’s a great resource … The last thing we want is someone to have a heat stroke or medical emergency,” Steckel said.
According to Carroll County Emergency Management, when temperatures and humidity is high, residents should avoid strenuous activities, wear loose, lightweight and light-colored clothing and eat less protein while eating more fruits and vegetables. Stay in air-conditioned buildings or rooms and limit time outside if possible.
“When the weather is extremely hot, it’s important to find ways to stay cool in order to minimize the risk for heat-related illnesses like heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke,” said Valerie Hawkins, an emergency management manager.
To stay safe during extreme heat, she also recommends checking on family members and neighbors, staying hydrated and never leaving people or pets in a closed car.
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For additional information, visit the Carroll County Health Department website at: https://cchd.maryland.gov/