With the National Weather Service predicting the heat index in Evanston may exceed 100 degrees today and Saturday, the city’s health director has declared a heat advisory is urging residents to take preventive steps to avoid heat-related illness including heat-stroke.

Health and Human Services Director Evonda Thomas-Smith says residents who lack air conditioning can visit the following public cooling centers:

  • Chandler-Newberger Center, 1028 Central St., open today until 6:30 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Fleetwood-Jourdain Center, 1655 Foster St., open today until 8 p.m. and  Saturday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Noyes Cultural Arts Center, 927 Noyes St., open today until 7 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Levy Senior Center, 300 Dodge Ave., open today until 9 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Robert Crown Center, 1701 Main St., open today until 8 p.m. and  Saturday from 6 a.m . to 9 p.m.

The Health Department recommends the following steps to prevent heat-related illnesses:

  • Drink lots of water.
  • Avoid alcohol, caffeine and high salt intake.
  • Stay in a cool, shaded areas and keep the blinds drawn or lights down.
  • Avoid excessive exposure to the sun.
  • Use air conditioners or fans; avoid excessive exposure to heat in unventilated areas.
  • Reduce physical activity.
  • Take cool baths or showers, and use cool towels.
  • Wear loose, light cotton clothing and a breathable hat.
  • Eat light meals; avoid eating heavy meals and using the oven.
  • Do not let anyone sit in a hot car, even for a few minutes.

Remember to check on people at risk for heat-related illness, especially elderly individuals.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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