By Melody Vallieu
MIAMI COUNTY — With the heat index expected to soar over 100 throughout the rest of the weekend, some residnts will need a place to come in from the heat.
A few places where residents can find shelter from the heat include:
• St. Patrick’s Soup Kitchen will be open Thursday, July 18 through Sunday, July 21 from noon to 5 p.m. to provide a place for local residents to get out of the heat, according to coordinator Dick Steineman. Dinner will still be served at 5 p.m. on Thursday and Friday. The Troy Foundation also will be providing bottled water and snacks for people who come to the cooling station at St. Patrick’s, according to executive director Melissa Kleptz.
• Hobart Arena — Hobart Arena is open to walkers, and a reprieve from the heat, from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily unless arena events impact the schedule. On Friday, July 19, there will be no walking hours after 7:30 p.m. or after 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, July 21. Visit hobartarena.com for more information on the walking schedule in the coming days.
Miami Valley Centre Mall — The mall is open to the public for those to come in out of the heat from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sundays.
Peggy Henthorn, mall manager, said she welcomes those in need of respite from the heat.
“I don’t know if people have come out here previously, but we’d love to have them if that would help them out,” Henthorn said.
The Center for Disease Control offers heat-related reminders for the comings days:
• Wear appropriate clothing: Choose lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
• Stay cool indoors: Stay in an air-conditioned place as much as possible. If your home does not have air conditioning, go to the shopping mall or public library — even a few hours spent in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler when you go back into the heat. Call your local health department to see if there are any heat-relief shelters in your area.
• Keep in mind: Electric fans may provide comfort, but when the temperature is in the high 90s, they will not prevent heat-related illness. Taking a cool shower or bath or moving to an air-conditioned place is a much better way to cool off. Use your stove and oven less to maintain a cooler temperature in your home.
• Schedule outdoor activities carefully: Try to limit your outdoor activity to when it’s coolest, like morning and evening hours. Rest often in shady areas so that your body has a chance to recover.
• Pace yourself: Cut down on exercise during the heat. If you’re not accustomed to working or exercising in a hot environment, start slowly and pick up the pace gradually. If exertion in the heat makes your heart pound and leaves you gasping for breath, stop all activity. Get into a cool area or into the shade, and rest, especially if you become lightheaded, confused, weak, or faint.
Wear sunscreen: Sunburn affects your body’s ability to cool down and can make you dehydrated. If you must go outdoors, protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and by putting on sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher 30 minutes prior to going out. Continue to reapply it according to the package directions. Look for sunscreens that say “broad spectrum” or “UVA/UVB protection” on their labels — these products work best.
• Do not leave children in cars: Cars can quickly heat up to dangerous temperatures, even with a window cracked open. While anyone left in a parked car is at risk, children are especially at risk of getting a heat stroke or dying. When traveling with children, remember to do the following:
— Never leave infants, children or pets in a parked car, even if the windows are cracked open.
— To remind yourself that a child is in the car, keep a stuffed animal in the car seat. When the child is buckled in, place the stuffed animal in the front with the driver.
— When leaving your car, check to be sure everyone is out of the car. Do not overlook any children who have fallen asleep in the car.
• Avoid hot and heavy meals: They add heat to your body.