Cooling Centers Open, With Limitations

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Thursday, July 18, 2019, 8:00 am
Alice Dreger

Above: Weather prediction from NOAA.

With the area facing unrelenting hot and humid conditions through the end of the week, cooling centers are being made available in the tri-county region. But few centers are offering 24-hour availability.

An announcement from the City of East Lansing yesterday indicated that the East Lansing Public Library will serve as a cooling center during regular business hours. That will be 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

A list of cooling centers in Ingham, Eaton, and Clinton Counties indicates that the only 24-hour options include the Charlotte location of Walmart and all Lansing area Meijer stores. Those stores do not allow pets. Some of the other cooling station options do allow pets, as indicated on the list.

According to the City’s announcement, “Free rides to cooling centers are available to those with a physical and financial need through CATA, EATRAN and Clinton Area Transit. Community members can find nearby cooling centers and find out if they are eligible for a free ride by dialing 211.”

The announcement also included reminders: do not leave pets or persons in parked cars, even for a few moments; make sure everyone drinks plenty of water; check on people who might be vulnerable; do what you can to stay cool and out of direct sun.

Signs of heat exhaustion include confusion, dark-colored urine (because of dehydration), dizziness, headaches, nausea, muscle or abdominal cramping, and fainting. If you see these signs in someone, try to cool the person and seek medical attention if necessary.

Birds, pollinating insects, and mammals also need help obtaining clean drinking water during periods like this. Simple pans of water (changed daily to discourage mosquitos) left in a shady spot can help wildlife and so contribute to a healthier ecosystem. © 2013-2020 East Lansing Info