As a heatwave consumes the tristate area, local Delaware governments are helping residents cool down.
Temperatures could approach 100 degrees Monday, and remain in the low to mid-90s for the next several days—and high humidity will make it feel even hotter, according to the National Weather Service.
Sussex County residents will be able to use any of four cooling stations in southern Delaware during the heat wave. The county asks residents visiting relief stations to bring any medications or specialty items they need.
Sussex County paramedics will visit the cooling station locations to answer heat-related questions. The County Administration Building also will offer free bottled water.
Cooling stations can be found at the following locations:
County Admin Building, 2 The Circle, Georgetown, DE
8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. M-F
Greenwood Library, 100 Mill Street, Greenwood, DE
10 a.m.-8 p.m. M, T, Th, F; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. W; 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sat.
Milton Library, 121 Union Street, Milton, DE
10 a.m.-8 p.m. M-F; 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sat.
South Coastal Library, 43 Kent Ave., Bethany Beach, DE
10 a.m.-8 p.m. M-Th; 1-5 p.m. F; 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Sat.
Residents and visitors are urged to avoid the outdoors when possible, particularly during the hottest part of the day between 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. Those who must be outside are advised to take frequent breaks and drink plenty of water.
Sussex County government also suggests wearing light clothing and avoiding strenuous activity and alcohol.
Individuals also should be aware of the signs of heat cramps, which can include muscular pains and spasms. When heat cramps occur, resting in cool areas and taking sips of water can alleviate cramps.
More dangerous effects of the heat, like heat exhaustion and heat stroke, require immediate medical attention. Symptoms of heat exhaustion can include a pale or flushed appearance, headache and nausea. Signs of heat stroke include rapidly increasing body temperature, unconsciousness, rapid or weak pulse and rapid, shallow breathing.
Sussex County government also advises its residents to check on friends, relatives and neighbors, particularly the elderly and youth. Individuals also are reminded to provide pets extra water and shade.
Sussex County Emergency Operations Center also provides tips on how to conserve electricity during hot days:
Set air conditioners to 80 degrees, or use fans instead, and minimize the opening of refrigerators and freezers;
Limit the use of electric water heaters and turn off non-essential appliances and lights;
Delay using high-energy appliances, such as washing machines and dryers, until after 8 p.m.;
Prepare light summer meals that require minimal, if any, cooking. Try using an outdoor grill or microwave oven instead of an electric range;
Keep window shades, blinds, or drapes closed to block the sunlight during the hottest portion of the day;
Move lamps, TVs and other heat sources away from air conditioner thermostats. Heat from those appliances is sensed by the thermostat and could cause an air conditioner to run longer than necessary;
Move furniture and other obstacles from in front of central air conditioning ducts to allow cooler air to circulate through rooms more freely.
Businesses can conserve electricity by:
Turning off unnecessary lighting and equipment.