With Cooling Centers Closed Because Of Coronavirus, Here Are Some Kansas City Spots To Find Relief From The Heat
We're supposed to get blistering heat and high humidity this weekend. Most libraries and pools are closed but there are a limited number of public places you can go to get out of the heat.
This has been a crazy summer for a lot of reasons, but as far as the weather goes, we’ve been pretty lucky. That luck seems to be running out for Kansas City this weekend.
An excessive heat warning has been issued by the National Weather Service in Pleasant Hill, Missouri, from Friday until 9 p.m. Sunday night. Actual temperatures are expected to be in the '90's, but it will feel like it's between 105 and 110 degrees.
While we may complain about it, hot weather is no joking matter, said Ryan Cutter, a National Weather Service meteorologist.
“One of the things people don’t think about is on a year-in, year-out basis, heat is actually one of the No. 1 weather-related killers across the United States,” Cutter said. “People tend to think of tornadoes or flooding or lightening, but heat is very dangerous.”
While public places, community centers, libraries, and YMCA's are usually made into cooling centers, this year is different. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many public facilities to close. Those that are open are limiting the number of patrons, requiring masks and social distancing. It’s probably best to call before heading out.
Here are some of the available cooling centers during this weekend's heat advisory:
Jackson County, Missouri
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services has an interactive map of cooling centers by zip code.
Kansas City, Missouri
The city is directing people to the United Way 2-1-1 help line or 211kc.org.
Kansas City Public Library
Due to COVID-19, the libraries are not serving as official cooling centers and are generally not open to the public for extended periods of time. There is limited use of public computers and drop-in service to pick up books on hold, but for safety of staff and patrons, the library is prohibiting long term use at this time.
Johnson County, Kansas
Johnson County Library - Due to COVID-19, the Libraries are similarly not official cooling centers and are asking visitors not to linger in the buildings to limit the amount of contact from patron to staff and patron to patron. The library says branches won't turn anyone away if they want to come in and cool down for a few minutes, as long as they wear a mask. Visitors are also welcome to use library computers for one, one-hour session per day.
Olathe Indian Creek Library - Open as a cooling center until 5 p.m. Friday, 10-5 on Saturday and 1-5 on Sunday
Project Elder Cool: A non-profit run through Bishop Sullivan and while not in Johnson County, they will serve Johnson County residents.
Johnson County Department Of Human Services: Will be working with low income clients to find options for staying cool.
City of Liberty Community Center - Typically a cooling site but the center is under restricted occupancy due COVID-19. Officials say for those in dire need of a cool location, call the center's welcome desk at 816-439-4361.
Salvation Army of Kansas and Western Missouri - The eight locations across the five county metro will be open and welcome people for in-person worship services on Sunday between 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.
Here are some pointers about how to avoid heat-related injury:
· stay in air conditioning as much as possible.
· drink plenty of fluids.
· avoid prolonged periods in the sun.
· check on relatives and neighbors.
· never leave children or pets unattended in vehicles.
· if possible, reschedule strenuous outdoor activity for early morning or late evening.
· wear lightweight and loose-filling clothes.
· be familiar with the symptoms of health exhaustion or heat stroke.
· if you or someone near you experiences heat stroke move to shade or air condition immediately and call 9-1-1 immediately.