Mayor Fischer and city leaders urge caution in extreme heat
Mayor Greg Fischer and Louisville Metropolitan Government (LMG) public health and safety officials are urging residents to protect themselves from heat-related illnesses and reminding them of the public resources available through the city and its partners.
The National Weather Service predicts temperatures well into the 90s and high humidity, which means heat index values will exceed 100 degrees. Most heat-related illnesses affect the elderly or people with chronic illnesses, but children, athletes and outdoor workers are also at risk.
“Extreme heat can be deadly and we urge everyone to take this advisory seriously,” Mayor Fischer said. “That means looking out for ourselves to avoid heat exhaustion, and looking out for others as well. I’m grateful to our Metro team and partners for taking action, as they do. always, to demonstrate what compassion is.
City cooling resources include:
Eight Neighborhood Place locations across Louisville will serve as cooling hubs for those who need to shield themselves from the heat. To find the nearest location, call Metro311 or 574-5000 or visit http://www.louisvilleky.gov/NeighborhoodPlace/
Louisville Metro Senior Nutrition Program Gathering Sites operates 14 gathering sites for seniors 60 and older that provide a nutritious lunchtime meal and activities in air-conditioned facilities. Visit https://louisvilleky.gov/government/resilience-and-community-services for a list of locations, times and phone numbers to reserve lunch.
All 17 branches of the Louisville Free Public Library are open and operating regular hours for people who need respite from the heat. Find a branch here: https://www.lfpl.org/branches/index.htm
The Coalition for the Homeless coordinates the Operation White Flag program to ensure that homeless people can find shelter in the event of inclement weather. Operation White Flag comes into effect when the temperature or heat index is 95 degrees or higher. A white flag flies outside each participating shelter to show that Operation White Flag is in effect. Anyone in need of shelter can stay at the shelter participating in Operation White Flag as long as weather conditions persist.
- Wayside Christian Mission (accepts cats and dogs), 432 E. Jefferson St.
- Vincent de Paul (for men only), 1034 S. Jackson St.
- Salvation Army Center (day shelter only), 911 S. Brook St.
The Day Shelter space is available at the Salvation Army and the Wayside Christian Mission, as well as shelters dedicated to men, women and youth. Visit https://louisvilleky.gov/government/resilience-and-community-services for a complete list. Representatives of several organizations regularly visit the settlements to provide links to shelters, medical care and social services.
When Operation White Flag is in effect, TARC signals people who need to be transported to one of the participating shelters. The passenger must alert the driver when boarding and can go to the nearest refuge free of charge.
Louisville Metro Animal Services is asking residents to limit time spent outdoors for pets. Residents are asked to call 9-1-1 if they see animals left in parked vehicles. When animals are outdoors, people are asked to provide shade and plenty of water.
Residents are urged to take personal steps to reduce their risk of heat-related illnesses.
“We urge everyone to take precautions to avoid heat exhaustion and to monitor family, friends and neighbors who may be particularly vulnerable to extreme heat,” said Dr. Jeff Howard, Acting Director and medical director. “Infants, young children, older adults and people with chronic conditions have a harder time regulating their body temperature. Help them stay cool and hydrated.”
The risks associated with a heat wave include:
- Heat cramps – this includes muscle pain and spasms resulting from intense exertion. These symptoms are often the first signal that the body is suffering from excessive heat.
- Heat exhaustion – this includes fainting, rash, fatigue and nausea. The skin may become clammy and clammy.
- Symptoms of sunstroke/heat: hot, dry skin, lack of sweating, nausea, confusion and unconsciousness. This is a potentially fatal condition. Consult a doctor immediately.
To prevent the risk of excessive heat, individuals should do the following:
- Look for air conditioning: If your home doesn’t have air conditioning, look for places that have air conditioning, such as libraries, malls, community/senior centers, grocery stores, movie theaters during the hottest time of day. If you must stay in a house without air conditioning, stay on the lowest floor out of direct sunlight.
- Avoid strenuous activities: This is especially true during the hottest part of the day. People who do heavy work during the heat of the day are particularly at risk.
- Wear light, light-colored clothing: Light colors reflect the sun’s rays better than dark colors, which absorb heat. Protect your face and head with a wide-brimmed hat.
- Check on family members, neighbors and friends who are vulnerable. Move them to air-conditioned places if possible.
- Drink lots of fluids: Increase your fluid intake even if you are not thirsty.
- Never leave pets or people, especially children and babies, unattended in cars during a heat wave.
If heat hazards arise, cool the body as soon as possible and call 9-1-1 for heat stroke symptoms.