KEEPING COOL: Celebrating The 4th Out Of The Heat
It’s often called the “the silent killer.” Polk County Health Officials say more lives are lost each year from extreme heat than all other natural disasters combined. They are doing what they can to keep people safe this holiday, including keeping some of their “cooling shelters” open around the clock.
A lot of 4th of July celebrations are commonly done outside, in the heat. But this year some people in the metro are switching things up and doing their celebrating indoors, in the air conditioning.
“We started our day we went to the Urbandale parade; it was very long, very nice but very hot. Extremely hot,” said Ryan Moses from Des Moines, “We finished up by coming here to enjoy the air conditioning and try to relieve the sun.”
“It`s just too hot. We did the parade last night, we did some fireworks this evening, but we going to stay inside in the meantime. Try to stay hydrated, stay cool,” said Eric Hixson from West Des Moines.
Malls like valley west mall are a popular destination this July 4th, especially to bring the kids.
For people that need a more permanent solution to the heat, there are cooling centers. People can not only come in to cool down, they can stay the night if they have to.
“As we go through day after day of very hot weather without much cool down over night, our bodies need to be recharged,” said Rick Kozin, with Polk County Public Health.
Polk county health officials say weather like we’re seeing lately is especially dangerous; because there’s not a lot of humidity- it’s just hot.
“When its drier it’s very easy to dismiss the risk because you don`t feel as uncomfortable, when in fact the higher temperatures for this long pose a higher risk,” said Kozin.
So they’re asking the public to pay extra attention to drinking water and staying cool in the heat. They say don’t wait until you’re thirsty or sweating to take action.
The cooling shelter at 1548 Hull Avenue is open from 8 p.m. on July 3rd, to 8 a.m. on July 5th. There are rooms to sleep, as well as food, water, and places to take showers.