Precautions Urged During Dangerous Heat
DES MOINES, IOWA — Wednesday, July 17, 2019 — An excessive heat warning has been issued for central Iowa this week, and Des Moines city officials are urging residents to take precautions as heat indexes are forecasted to top 100 degrees.
Be aware of the signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Heat exhaustion symptoms include heavy sweating, cold, pale and clammy skin, nausea or vomiting, muscle cramps, headache or fainting. Symptoms of heat stroke are high body temperature, hot, red, dry skin, fast pulse, headache, dizziness, nausea or confusion.
Drink plenty of water. DO NOT wait until you are thirsty to drink. Avoid drinking alcoholic and caffeinated beverages as they dehydrate you.
Take frequent breaks in the shade or indoors. Spend at least two hours in air conditioning each day.
Try to avoid being outdoors in the hottest portion of the day: 11 AM to 4 PM.
Many public places such as malls, libraries and senior centers are air conditioned and are open to the public as daytime cooling centers. Recommended locations in Des Moines include:
- Southridge Mall — Wednesday to Saturday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sunday noon to 6 p.m.
- Merle Hay Mall — Wednesday to Saturday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sunday noon to 5:30 p.m.
- Central Library — Wednesday to Thursday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday 1 p.m.to 5 p.m.
- Franklin Ave. Library — Wednesday to Thursday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
- East Side Library — Wednesday to Thursday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday closed
- Forest Ave. Library — Wednesday to Thursday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday closed
- North Side Library — Wednesday to Thursday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday closed
- South Side Library — Wednesday to Thursday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday closed
Des Moines public libraries can better accommodate residents during this week's extreme heat because of expanded hours that were implemented on July 1.
Additional Cooling Centers and Resources
Central Iowa Shelter & Services and Bethel Mission Shelter will both operate under their extreme temperature amnesty programs. Daytime cooling centers are available throughout the community for respite from the heat beginning Wednesday at 1pm through Saturday at 7pm. Current information on cooling center locations and hours of operation are located on the Polk County Health Department web site www.polkcountyiowa.gov/health/programs/disaster-response/extreme-heat/
Animal Rescue League of Iowa is also a daytime cooling center and welcomes residents to their main location at 5452 NE 22nd Street in Des Moines for people and their pets to get out of the heat and cool off. For more information and questions regarding pet sheltering please call ARL at 515.262.9503. If pets are observed in a parked car unaccompanied, please call local law enforcement.
DART is providing FREE bus rides to and from daytime cooling centers and emergency homeless shelters from 9a-9p. Riders need to inform the driver they are going to or from a cooling center or homeless shelter. Anyone requiring PARATRANSIT may call 515.283.8105 to request a ride.
United Way 211 is available for information regarding daytime cooling center locations and hours of operation and additional resources
For a full list of daytime cooling centers that are open, visit the Polk County Health Department’s website www.polkcountyiowa.gov/health/ or call 211.
Communications Manager, City Manager’s Office
About the City of Des Moines
The City of Des Moines: Iowa’s capital city and local government servicing more than 217,000 residents, 51+ neighborhoods, over 4,000 acres of parkland and 81 miles of trails. The City of Des Moines stands to be a financially strong city with exceptional city services, fostering an involved community in a customer friendly atmosphere. Visit Facebook and Twitter for more information.