IMLAY CITY — In coordination with the Lapeer County Emergency Management Office, under the direction of Jeff Satkowski, the Lapeer County Senior Center in Imlay City, 335 E. Third St., is open as a cooling center for area residents Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. during hot-weather days.
Satkowski is working to find a location in Lapeer to serve as a cooling center. The County Press will provide further updates if a Lapeer facility is secured to provide a place where people without air conditioning can rest for a few hours in the comfort of cooler temperatures.
The National Weather Service issued a heat advisory for Lapeer County and much of Michigan until 8 p.m. Tuesday evening, though hot temperatures are in the forecast for the remainder of the week. Heat indices today in Lapeer County are near 100 degrees — potentially dangerous heat for people and animals alike.
Temperatures Wednesday are expected to be the low 90s, with a little less humidity — while Thursday and Friday temperatures will be in the mid- to upper 80s and possibly 90 degrees again Saturday.
Hot temperatures and high humidity may cause heat illnesses to occur. Area residents are advised to drink plenty of water, stay in an air-conditioned room if possible, stay out of the sun, and check up on relatives and neighbors. Young children and pets should never be left unattended in vehicles under any circumstances. Take extra precautions if you work or spend time outside. When possible, reschedule strenuous activities to early morning or evening. Know the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Wear lightweight and loose-fitting clothing when possible.
- Understanding heat illness: Dehydration is the first stage of heat-related illness. Dehydration occurs when body fluids are lost, and not replaced, by sweating. Symptoms include dry mouth, thirst, headache, dizziness, cramps, excessive fatigue and irritability.
If you are experiencing dehydration, move to a shaded or air-conditioned area, replace fluids by drinking water, and consult a physician if symptoms persist or if there is an existing condition that could be complicated by increased fluid intake.
- Heat exhaustion: The next, more serious stage of heat-related illness is heat exhaustion.
Heat exhaustion occurs when people exercise heavily or work in a warm, humid place where body fluid loss occurs greatly from sweating. This fluid loss can cause reduced blood flow to vital organs, which results in shock.
Signs of heat exhaustion include headache, moist and pale skin, nausea, dizziness, weakness and exhaustion. To treat exhaustion, seek shade or a cool place. Drink a half glass of cool water every 15 minutes, remove or loosen any tight clothing, and apply a cool, wet towel or compress. Heat exhaustion can develop into heat stroke, so if symptoms persist or worsen, seek emergency medical treatment.
- Heat stroke is the most severe stage of heat-related illness. A heat stroke, also called sunstroke, can be deadly. Symptoms include vomiting, decreased alertness level or complete loss of consciousness, high body temperature (sometimes as high as 105 degrees) or red, hot, and dry skin with a rapid, weak pulse.
Call 911 for immediate medical help and try to cool the person down. If possible, put them in a tub of cool water or shower them with a garden hose.