Foxborough Opens Cooling Center at Council on Aging Facility
Foxborough Fire Chief Roger Hatfield says the town is being proactive for residents dealing with Tuesday's heat and has opened the town's Council on Aging facility as a cooling center for residents.
Residents needing a place to get out of the heat and cool off today can stop by Foxborough's Council on Aging facility, located on 75 Central St. from now until 4 p.m., according to Foxborough Fire Chief Roger Hatfield.
"We are being proactive as we were last year," Hatfield said. "We established that if we need a cooling center, it would be at the [Council on Aging facility] and will be open from now until 4 p.m."
Hatfield said today's heat, coupled with the National Weather Service issuing a heat advisory for Norfolk County, has warranted the town's need to open the Council on Aging facility as a cooling center until 4 p.m. Tuesday.
The heat advisory is in effect from 1 to 7 p.m. Tuesday and, according to Hatfield, if residents are still in need of a cooling center after 4 p.m., one will be established at Foxborough's Public Safety Building.
Hatfield said the cooling centers will be used solely as a place to get some relief from the excess heat.
"[The cooling centers] are not going to be stacked with food or water or anything like that," Hatfield said. "It just gives people a break from the heat."
As for advice to residents trying to deal with Tuesday's heat, Hatfield said stay hydrated and don't hesitate to call 911 for medical assistance.
"Make sure you have plenty of fluids and that you don’t over-exert yourself because the air quality is a concern and if you have any medical needs don’t hesitate a call to 911 for medical assistance," Hatfield said.
The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) also offers tips for people to follow during the hot, humid weather:
With the extremely hot weather forecast for the Commonwealth, the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) is advising people to be cautious during this period of extreme heat, and is offering some tips to help keep cool and safe.
“A few common sense measures can reduce heat-related problems, especially for the elderly, the very young and people with respiratory ailments, who are more susceptible to the effects of high temperatures,” said MEMA Director Kurt Schwartz.
“If this extreme weather continues over an extended period, some communities may be setting up cooling centers to assist those seeking relief from the oppressive heat.”
Here are some tips to follow during hot, humid weather:
- Slow down, avoid strenuous activity. Do not try to do too much on a hot day.
- Wear lightweight, loose-fitting, light-colored clothing. Light colors will reflect heat and sunlight and help maintain normal body temperature. Protect your face with a wide-brimmed hat.
- Drink plenty of water regularly and often, even if you do not feel thirsty. Attempt to stay hydrated.
- Limit intake of alcoholic beverages. They can actually dehydrate your body.
- Eat well-balanced, light, regular meals. Avoid high protein foods that increase metabolic heat.
- Stay indoors as much as possible.
- If you do not have air conditioning, stay on your lowest floor, out of the sun. Electric fans do not cool the air, but they do help evaporate perspiration, which cools your body.
- Go to a place where you can get relief from the heat, such as air conditioned schools, libraries, theaters and other community facilities that may offer refuge during the warmest times of the day.
- Cover windows that receive morning or afternoon sun with drapes, shades, awnings or louvers. Outdoor awnings or louvers can reduce the heat that enters a home by up to 80%.
- Avoid too much sunshine. Sunburn slows the skin’s ability to cool itself. If you are outside, use sunscreen lotion with a high SPF (Sun Protection Factor) rating.
- Never leave children or pets alone in a closed vehicle.
- Do not leave pets outside for extended periods. Make sure that they have plenty of drinking water.
- Check on family, friends and neighbors.
In normal weather, the body’s internal thermostat produces perspiration that evaporates and cools the body. However, in extreme heat and high humidity, evaporation is slowed and the body must work extra hard to maintain normal temperature, which may lead to heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
If you believe you, or anyone you are with, is experiencing a heat-related medical emergency, promptly call 911, and if possible, move to a cooler place.
Temperatures in Foxborough are expected to reach the mid 90s, with a high of 96, on Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service. Hatfield said while today is hot, he doesn't expect it to be an issue Wednesday.
"Right now, I’m not so concerned [with the heat] because it is only one day; I know we’ve had multiple days of warm days but this is really the height of it [today] and it is supposed to break tonight and we should have a cooler day tomorrow," Hatfield said.
Until then, cooling centers have been established in town to help address Tuesday's heat.
"I’m taking the precautions and being proactive and getting the word out [about the cooling centers]," Hatfield said. "Just letting people know that if they are in dire need we have these facilities."
Public pools in town are also open to help cool off from the excessive heat. The public can visit Foxborough YMCA's indoor or outdoor pool facility on Mechanic St. and Foxborough's Recreation Department's pool at 68 Mill St.