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City Libraries, Senior Centers Offer Relief from the Heat

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The local forecast for the New Bedford area over the next several days calls for daytime temperatures above 90 degrees.  Although Southern Bristol County was not included in today’s National Weather Service Heat Advisory, daytime temperatures are expected to remain in the 90s today through Friday.

The following is a list of City facilities accessible during their normal hours of operation for relief from the heat over the course of this week:

All Senior Centers are open 9:00am—3:00pm, Monday through Friday. (Brooklawn Park, Buttonwood Park, Downtown Ashley Park, Hazelwood Park))

Library Hours:

Monday:
Main Library 9:00am—9:00pm
All Branches 10:00am—6:00pm

Tuesday:
Main Library 9:00am—9:00pm
All Branches 12 Noon—8:00pm

Wednesday:
Main Library 9:00am—9:00pm
Casa Branch 10:00am—6:00pm
Wilks Branch 10:00am—6:00pm
(Lawler and Howland-Green Closed)

Thursday:
Main Library 9:00am—9:00pm
All Branches 12 Noon—8:00pm

Friday:
Main Library 9:00am—5:00pm
Lawler Branch 10:00am—6:00pm
Howland-Green 10:00am—6:00pm
(Casa and Wilks Closed)

Saturday
Main and All Branches 9 AM – 5 PM

Main Library – 613 Pleasant Street
Casa Da Saudade – 58 Crapo Street
Wilks Branch – 1911 Acushnet Avenue
Lawler Branch – 745 Rockdale Avenue
Howland-Green Branch – 3 Rodney French Blvd

With the hot weather forecast for the Commonwealth, the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) is advising people to be cautious during this period of high heat, and is offering some tips to help keep cool and safe.

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 pets 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.

About Michael Silvia

Served 20 years in the United States Air Force. Owner of New Bedford Guide.

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