The National Weather Service says the heat index may rise to 110 degrees on Wednesday and Thursday in Evanston.

So Evanston’s Health and Human Services Department has declared a Heat Advisory from 11 a.m. Wednesday, until 8 p.m. Thursday and is urging residents to take preventive actions to avoid heat-related illness, such as heatstroke.

Community members are asked to check on people at risk for heat-related illness, especially the elderly.

Public cooling centers will be open Wednesday through Friday during the following hours:

  • Robert Crown Community Center, 1801 Main St., 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Fleetwood Jourdain Community Center, 1655 Foster St., 9 a.m. 8 p.m.
  • Levy Senior Center, 300 Dodge Ave., 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Evanston Public Library, 1703 Orrington Ave., 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday.

The following steps can help prevent heat-related illnesses::

  • Drink lots of water, and avoid alcohol, caffeine and high salt intake
  • Stay in cool, shaded areas while outdoors, and keep the blinds drawn or lights down indoors
  • 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 leave people or pets alone in a hot car, even for a few minutes

Waste collection service will be start about 6 a.m., an hour earlier than usual, on Wednesday and Thursday to maintain safer working conditions for employees during the heat wave.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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