Keeping Worcester, Mass. Resident Safe in Heat - NECN

Keeping Worcester, Mass. Resident Safe in Heat



    Keeping Worcester, Mass. Resident safe in heat

    Residents urged to keep hydrated and out of the sun on Wednesday (Published Friday, Jan. 17, 2014)

    (NECN: Kristen Doucet, Worcester, Mass.) - City officials want to make sure everyone stays cool and healthy in the heat.

    In downtown Worcester on Tuesday, temperatures were mild...but that's all about to change.

    According to the National Weather Service, the heat index is expected to exceed 95 degrees for the next two days.

    "What people really need to know is that heat does pose a health hazard especially at temperatures that are coming tomorrow and Thursday, high heat, high humidity, we need to take a number of different precautions," Public Health Director Derek Brindisi said.

    Public Health Director Derek Brindisi says excessive heat can lead to heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

    He says to help avoid these problems be aware of what you are drinking.

    "Lots of water is good, sports drinks are recommended and we certainly encourage people to not consume alcohol during this time, especially when outdoors," Brindisi said.

    City pools and beaches will not be staffed this week, but the city will be opening several cooling centers.

    Emergency Management Director David Clemons says the main location will be at the Worcester Senior Center -- which will provide plenty of free air conditioning.

    "For our elderly, those without air conditioning, multiple days of extreme heat as well as being bothersome, can be a major health hazard to them," Clemons said.

    Brindisi says if someone is experiencing heat exhaustion get them to a cooler place, have them rest and drink an emergency call 911.

    In addition to protecting yourself, he says be especially aware of vulnerable individuals.

    "First and foremost, what everyone needs to know, is that seniors and children are highest at risk, so you want to pay attention to those individuals," Brindisi said.

    The Worcester Regional Transit Authority will be providing free rides to the cooling center to help those who need it.

    "Many of these people are our regular customers and to have them be put in a situation where they couldn't get to a cooling center would be irresponsible on our part," John F. Carney, General Manager of WRTA said.