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Mission, health agency warn about extreme heat

MADISON – No one will deny it. The weather in Madison has been hot … extremely hot.

Because of oppressive heat and soaring heat indexes, the dining hall inside The Salvation Army’s Community Kitchen is open as a cooling station from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The address is 305 Seminole Drive in Huntsville and will open whenever the weather service issues a heat warning.

The emergency shelter and community kitchen will operate as normal. Anyone seeking temporary shelter from the heat is welcome.

“The Salvation Army is always ready to assist in any kind of emergency. To anyone in need of cool shelter during these days of extreme heat, we’re here for you,” Maj. Anthony Baso said. He is Salvation Army Commanding Officer.

For more information, call 256-536-5576, ext. 14 or visit salvationarmyhuntsville.org.

In addition, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reminds local residents about steps they should take to protect their health from extreme heat:

* People suffering from heat stress may experience heavy sweating; weakness; cold, pale and clammy skin; fast, weak pulse; and nausea or vomiting. Early signs include muscle cramps, heat rash, fainting and pulse greater than 100.

* Move anyone with heat stress to a cooler location to lie down. Apply cool, wet cloths to head, neck, armpits and upper legs. Help the individual sip water.

* Heat stroke, the most severe situation, causes a temperature above 103 degrees F., along with erratic pulse and altered mental status from confusion to unconsciousness. Call 911 immediately.

* Help children or people with communication-related disabilities avoid situations with dangerous temperatures.

Older adults face additional risk of heat stress and heat stroke.

In addition to staying in air-conditioned buildings, individuals should drink plenty of fluids (water but not caffeine-heavy tea and coffee); wear lightweight, light-colored and loose clothing; and limit outdoor activity to mornings and evenings.

For more information, visit emergency.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat. For details about disaster preparedness, visit ready.gov.

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