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COLUMBIA - With temperatures nearing the 100-degree mark in mid-Missouri, Sunday marked the first day of Summer Safety Week in an effort to raise awareness about heat-related health issues.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, which has teamed with the National Weather Service and the State Emergency Management Agency to promote the week-long event, reported 47 deaths due to summer heat in 2011. The department offers several tips for staying healthy this year: stay hydrated, check on family members who live without air conditioning and spend the hottest portions of the day indoors.

Several cooling centers can help mid-Missourians in the viewing area. For a list of those centers, visit this website.