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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 20, 2006

Metro East cooling locations identified
Severe storms cause power outages, state and local agencies offer cooling centers and tips to stay safe

Springfield – The Illinois Emergency Management Agency, in cooperation with Madison and St. Clair County and Granite City Emergency Services and Disaster agencies and the local Red Cross, has established cooling centers in the Metro East area due to the extreme heat and loss of power.  The temperature in the Metro East is forecast to reach 103 degrees this afternoon, with the heat index predicted to be 115.

Cooling Centers

Illinois Department of Human Services Facilities
? 1925 Madison Avenue, Granite City*
? 601 South High Street, Belleville
? Augustine Building, 1220 Centreville Avenue, Belleville*
? 225 North 9th, East St. Louis*
(*already designated a cooling center)

Local Facilities

? Granite City Hall, 2000 Edison Avenue, Granite City
? Granite City Township Office, 2060 Delmar Avenue, Granite City
? Lake School, 3201 East 23rd Street, Granite City
? 4 Square Church, 3131 East 23rd Street, Granite City
? Granite City Public Library, 2001 Delmar Avenue, Granite City
? Kenneth Hall Hospital, 129 North Street, East St. Louis
? Public Health Department, 101 East Edwardsville,Wood River
? East Alton Ice Arena, 631 Lewis and Clark Blvd., East Alton
? Salvation Army, 3007 East 23rd Street, Granite City
? Salvation Army, 525 Alby, Alton
? 1st Baptist Church, Route 162, Maryville
? Hartford Gym, 901 North Delmar, Hartford
? Lewis and Clark Community College, 5800 Godfrey Road, Godfrey
? Emge School, 7401 Westchester Drive, Belleville
? Touchette Regional Hospital, 5900 Bond Avenue, Centreville

Extreme heat can be dangerous if proper safety precautions are not taken to prevent dehydration and overheating. Call the Keep Cool Illinois hotline at (877) 411-9276 if you need assistance.

To avoid heat stroke and heat exhaustion, please follow these tips, and check on elderly neighbors to make sure they are not at risk.

Keeping Cool Tips Everyone
• Stay in air-conditioned space at home, the library, the mall, movie theater or at a cooling center.
• Drink lots of water and natural juices. Avoid alcoholic beverages, coffee and colas.
• Keep shades drawn and blinds closed, but keep windows slightly open.
• Stay out of the sun and avoid going out in the heat.
• Keep electric lights off or turned down.
• Take cool baths or showers.
• Wear loose, light cotton clothing.
• Do not eat heavy meals. Avoid cooking with your oven.
• Avoid or minimize physical exertion.
• Do not sit in a hot car, even for a short time. Never leave a child in a hot car.
• Check on family members, friends and neighbors to make sure they stay cool and safe.
• If you or anyone you know needs emergency medical attention, call 911.
• It is against the law to open a fire hydrant. An open hydrant hinders the fire department's ability to fight fires, reduces water pressure in your home and may cause basement flooding.
Special Keeping Cool Tips for Seniors
• During heat emergencies, seniors are urged to contact their local area agencies on Aging or the Senior HelpLine at (800) 252-8966 for assistance with locating senior centers, adult day service sites and other buildings that serve as cooling centers.
• Humidity combined with temperature make up the heat index, which is similar to the wind chill factor in winter.  If the temperature is in the 90s with high humidity, it can feel like it is well over 100 degrees.
Keeping Cool Tips for Your Pets
• Provide water and shelter from the sun at all times.
• Restrict activity during extreme heat.
• Never leave pets in parked vehicles. Even moderate heat rapidly increases and can kill the pet quickly.

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