Heat Safety & Worcester County Cooling Stations

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Worcester County Emergency Service officials urge residents to exercise extreme caution and check on elderly and infirm neighbors during the heatwave forecast to last through Sunday. Heat indexes for the shore are expected to rise above 100 degrees this week and
exposure to extreme heat can be dangerous for humans and animals, even deadly.

Cooling stations will be open at the following locations across Worcester County: Libraries – all five Worcester County branch libraries will be open Friday and Saturday. Friday all branches will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday the Berlin branch will be open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Ocean City branch will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Ocean Pines branch will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and the Pocomoke and Snow Hill branches will be open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information and additional operating hours, contact library officials at 410-632-2600 or visit www.worcesterlibrary.org.

Worcester County Recreation Center in Snow Hill – The WCRC will be open Friday from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and will be open and offering special programs for families with children Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. In addition, residents are invited to walk on the four-lane competitive track or simply relax on the retractable bleachers. For more information and additional operating hours, call Recreation and Parks at 410-632-2144.

Commission on Aging – the Charles and Martha Fulton Senior Center in Snow Hill will be open Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The senior centers in Berlin, Pocomoke, and Ocean City are open Monday – Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. for senior citizens that may need shelter from the heat. Commission on Aging staff can be reached at 410-632-1277.

What can you do to help remain safe during extreme heat conditions?

  • Drink plenty of fluids, wear sunscreen, avoid alcohol and caffeine, wear loose,
    lightweight, light-colored clothing and take frequent breaks from stressful activities to
    avoid becoming dehydrated and overheated, which can lead to heat stroke or heat
    exhaustion.
  • Be aware that heat stroke and heat exhaustion are both serious, life-threatening
    conditions. Heatstroke, which is characterized by a body temperature greater than 103
    degrees, can develop quickly and is often accompanied by the following symptoms: dry,
    red skin, fast strong pulse, headache, dizziness, nausea, confusion, and passing out. A
    heatstroke victim should be kept in a cool area; emergency medical care should be
    obtained by dialing 911. Heatstroke is treated by rapidly lowering the body temperature
    by a cool bath or wet towels.
  • Heat exhaustion is a milder form of heatstroke, and symptoms may include heavy
    sweating, cold/pale and clammy skin, fast/weak pulse, muscle cramps, nausea, and
    headache, vomiting or fainting. Heat exhaustion can be treated by drinking plenty of
    liquids and resting in a cool, shaded area, and applying cool, wet towels. If symptoms
    become worse seek medical attention immediately.
  • Never leave people or pets in a parked car. As temperatures rise outdoors they soar even
    higher inside of a parked vehicle.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, those at greatest risk for heat-related illness
include infants and children up to four years of age, people 65 years of age and older, people
who are overweight, and people who are ill or on certain medications.
For more information from the CDC visit: www.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/faq.html and www.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/heattips.html

The County Commissioners urge all residents to take proper precautions to protect themselves and take time to check on vulnerable neighbors and to contact 911 in the event of a health related emergency. For more information on how to keep safe during extreme heat, visit the Worcester County Health Department at www.worcesterhealth.org.