Shelters, information available as heat wave looms
Forecasts say it will feel like it's 111 degrees this weekend, so York County and several nonprofit organizations are providing information and resources to help residents keep cool and hydrated.
The heat wave is expected to peak over the weekend, with a Saturday high temperature of 99 degrees, according to the National Weather Service. According to AccuWeather, humidity will make it feel like it's 111 degrees on Saturday.
On Monday, temperatures are expected to slowly fall, with Tuesday's temperature high predicted around 85 degrees, the weather service said.
Elderly: The Area Agency on Aging advises York County residents to periodically check on elderly and disabled people who may be more susceptible to the heat.
The agency also suggests that elderly residents to periodically take cool baths or showers, abstain from outdoor activities, drink plenty of water, keep rooms well-ventilated and take advantage of cooling centers such as malls or or public pools.
York Cares will be open from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. daily except Sunday at the Salvation Army, located at 50 E. King St., to help those looking to avoid the heat. Snacks and water will also be available free of charge.
Norma Escobar, the director of family services for the Salvation Army, also said the organization would provide fans to individuals who can provide a doctor's certificate. They have a limited supply, and senior citizens will have first priority, she said.
York County's senior centers will be open at their usual times for residents who need relief from the heat. For more information on the centers, visit www.yorkcountypa.gov.
Cooling station: North York is setting up cooling stations for residents who need to get out of the heat, according to a news release.
Between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Friday, residents can stop by the borough office, 350 E. 6th Ave., and between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday they can visit Liberty Fire Co., 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Water will be available at both locations..
Two cooling stations will be available in Hellam Township as well.
The township municipal boardroom at 44 Walnut Springs Road will be open from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Friday.
The Emergency Operations Center at 45 Walnut Springs Road will also be open from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
York County released a list of cooling centers Saturday. The following are available for residents to beat the heat:
- Citizens Volunteer Fire Company at 171 S. Market St., Fawn Grove; 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
- Fileys Lutheran Church (from noon to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday) at 15 S. Fileys Road, Dillsburg
- Dillsburg Area Public Library at 204 Mumper Lane, Dillsburg, is staying open until 7 p.m. Saturday
- September House Senior Center at 1251 W. King St., York; Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. or later if people are using the facility.
- Shrewsbury Borough Building at 35 W. Railroad Ave., Shrewsbury; 1-7 p.m. Saturday and 2-7 p.m. Sunday
- West York Fire Department at 1341 W. Market St. York
- Community Fire Co. No. 1 of York New Salem at 65 E. George St., New Salem; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday & Sunday
- Goldsboro Church of God, 105 West Broadway, Etters
- Johnson Controls cafeteria, 5000 Renaissance Drive, New Freedom; Signs will lead people to parking (12-6 p.m. Saturday & 2-6 p.m. Sunday)
- Red Lion Municipal Building at 11 E. Broadway, Red Lion; 12-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
- Hellam Township Public Works Building and Municipal Building (EOC) 45 Walnut Springs Road, York
Homeless: Mark Walters, York County spokesman, said homeless individuals can seek shelter at places such as LifePath, located at 367 W. Market St.
Anyone who needs to cool off can also use splash pads in Fairmount Park, 108 Boundary Ave., and Penn Park, 100 W. College Ave.
While there are no official water stations planned, some cooling stations could be opening over the weekend "if need be," said Walters.
"(Residents are) also likely able to stop in at the senior centers, if they need to," he added.
Animals: Walters said pets should be kept indoors "for as long as they can be" and given plenty of water.
By law, dogs can be tethered outside for no more than 30 minutes when temperatures are over 90 degrees, and dogs must have access to both shade and drinkable water.
A bill signed by Gov. Tom Wolf in October provided new protections for animals left unattended in hot cars.
The Motor Vehicle Extreme Heat Protection Act permits police officers to remove dogs or cats from unattended motor vehicles if they believe the animal is in "imminent danger."
The law also protects officers from liability for any damages and requires the officer to leave a note where the owner can pick up their pet.
Additionally, for wild animals experiencing dehydration or heat exhaustion, Walters said residents can contact their local municipality office, 911 or the SPCA emergency hotline: 717-764-6109, ext. 127.
Signs of heat exhaustion and stroke: People experiencing heat exhaustion can show the following symptoms: cool, moist, pale or flushed skin; heavy sweating; headache; nausea; dizziness; weakness; and exhaustion, according to officials.
Signs of a heat stroke include hot, red skin, which may be dry or moist; changes in consciousness; vomiting; and high body temperature.
If someone is having these symptoms, take them to a cool space and give them small amounts of water. If a person is having a heat stroke, call 911 immediately, officials said.
— Reach Tina Locurto at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @tina_locurto.