Dangerous temperatures are expected in most of Iowa Wednesday, but there are things that you can do to keep safe and cool.
All Des Moines community centers and shopping malls are dedicated cooling centers. Other places around town include libraries and some city halls in Polk County. Click here for more cooling center locations in Polk County.
The Salvation Army in Des Moines has two cooling centers, one on East 25th Ct and the other at 6th and Forest Ave., are open until 4:30 Wednesday afternoon.
You can also call your county health department for the cooling center nearest you.
For those who don’t have air conditioning, the Des Moines Community Action Agency and the Des Moines Fire Department are collecting new fans to distribute to qualifying people living in Des Moines. Donations of new fans or new window air conditioners are accepted at city fire stations.
When out in the heat watch for signs of fatigue, nausea, dizziness, excessive thirst, muscle cramps, cold skin and confusion as these could be signs of heat stroke. Heat stroke can occur suddenly and without any symptoms of heat exhaustion. Heat stroke symptoms also include increased body temperatures, rapid heart rate, decreased urination, and loss of consciousness. If you experience any of these signs, you should get medical care immediately to prevent the heat from sending you to the hospital.
To avoid those symptoms, drink lots of water, avoid alcohol and caffeine, wear light loose fitting clothes, if possible, stay in air conditioned locations, and if outdoors, take frequent breaks in shaded areas avoid going out in the hottest part of the day, and avoid physical exertion.