Melissa Stratton 312.746.9454
CHICAGO – With increasingly hot weather expected throughout the day, the Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) and other City agencies remind residents and visitors to stay informed about weather-related conditions, know what precautions to take and where to go to get relief from the heat.
“Throughout the country, we have seen how extreme weather conditions can endanger people and communities and we hope all Chicagoans keep safety in mind and to check-in with family and neighbors who may need connection to City services such as cooling centers to escape the heat," said OEMC Executive Director Gary Schenkel. "As always, OEMC continues to monitor weather conditions and is prepared to activate plans and alert the public should a situation occur."
As temperatures rise, the Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Bechara reminds seniors to stay indoors if possible and for the public to be aware of the signs and symptoms of heat stroke and heat exhaustion.
“Heat exhaustion” is a milder form of heat-related illness that can develop after several days of exposure to high temperatures and inadequate or unbalanced replacement of fluids. “Heat stroke” is more serious, and occurs when the body starts to lose its ability to regulate itself. The telltale signs of heat stroke are:
• An extremely high body temperature, such as 103 degrees or above.
• Dizziness and nausea.
• A throbbing headache and a pulse that is rapid and strong.
• Skin that is red, hot and dry.
If you see someone suffering from heat exhaustion or heat stroke, take immediate action. Call 9-1-1 immediately and then try to move the person into a cool place and cool the person with water.
“By working together, Chicagoans can beat the heat and stay safe,” said CDPH Commissioner Bechara Choucair, M.D.
“Everyone should stay hydrated, stay in a cool place and stay in touch with friends and family members who may need additional help.”
OEMC encourages residents to take steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of heat exhaustion and heat stroke:
• Drink plenty of water, at least eight glasses a day to avoid dehydration.
• Ensure that children stay well hydrated.
• Visit the nearest City Cooling Center operated by the Department of Family and Support Services, which are open Monday – Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and are listed below:
o Englewood Center - 1140 W. 79th Street, Chicago, IL 60621
o Garfield Center - 10 S. Kedzie Ave., Chicago, IL 60612
o King Center - 4314 S. Cottage Grove, Chicago, IL 60653
o North Area Center - 845 W. Wilson Ave., Chicago, IL 60640
o South Chicago Center - 8650 S. Commercial Ave., Chicago, IL 60617
o Trina Davila Center - 4357 W. Armitage Ave., Chicago, IL 60639
(NOTE: Hours and days of service could be extended under extreme conditions. For the most current Cooling Center information, call 3-1-1.)
• Contact the local Chicago Park District facility via 3-1-1 to find out about beach and park hours and programs.
• Sign up for extreme weather alerts at www.NotifyChicago.org.
Chicagoans are encouraged to be good neighbors and family members and check on the disabled and seniors who may not understand the effects of extreme heat, or call 3-1-1 to request well-being checks and rides to cooling centers. Pet owners should ensure they have plenty of fresh water and are out of the sun. Additional pet safety tips are available here.
Beaches, public parks and pools typically make excellent places to cool off, but open fire hydrants do not. “Aside from impacting the water supply if a fire should break out in the area, playing in the shooting water of an open hydrant can be dangerous for children," said Chicago Fire Department Commissioner Jose Santiago. “Children are not thinking about safety, and they often cannot hear approaching cars.”
Residents can also obtain more information about extreme weather preparedness by visiting www.AlertChicago.com and sign up to receive free weather alert notifications at www.NotifyChicago.org.