Cooling centers offer relief from the heat
COLUMBIA - With an expected high of 94 degrees Wednesday, the Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services reminded mid-Missourians to take precautions.
The city has designated eight sites as cooling centers. Those who need a break from the heat may use lobbies, restrooms, and drinking fountains during normal business hours.
"We like to remind people to be aware of the temperatures," said Andrea Waner, the department's public information officer. "If you don't have air conditioning or access to a fan, go ahead and utilize those cooling centers."
The Activity and Recreation Center is one of the cooling locations. Brian Higginbotham, ARC supervisor of operations and programming, said the ARC has opened its doors as a cooling center for years.
"All that we ask them not to do is sleep on benches and what not," said Higginbotham. "And they can stay here really as long as they want."
Elderly, young and chronically-ill individuals are especially prone to heat-related illnesses. Possible complications include heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat strokes.
"Check on your neighbors, make sure they're okay, stay hydrated," said Waner. "If you're working outside, wear a hat. Dress appropriately for the weather. Take breaks often."
Columbia's cooling centers include:
• ARC (Activity Recreation Center)
• Armory Sports and Community Center
• Boone County Government Center
• Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health & Human Services
• Columbia Public Library
• Salvation Army
• Salvation Army Harbor House
• St. Francis House