The National Weather Service says the heat index may rise to between 105 and 115 degrees on Thursday and Friday. Nighttime lows will remain in the 70s, offering little relief. And the excessive heat may continue through Saturday.

Evonda Thomas-Smith, director of the Evanston Health and Human Services Department, has issued a heat advisory and urges all residents to take preventive action to avoid heat-related illness, such as heat stroke.

Residents without air conditioning are also encouraged to take advantage of cooling centers across the city:

  • Chandler-Newberger Center, 1028 Central St. – Thursday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Fleetwood-Jourdain Center, 1655 Foster St. – Thursday, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Levy Senior Center, 300 Dodge Ave. – Thursday, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.;Saturday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Robert Crown Center, 1701 Main St. – Thursday, 5 a.m. to midnight; Friday, 5 a.m. to 11 p.m.;Saturday, 5 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
  • Main Evanston Public Library, 1703 Orrington Ave. – Thursday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • North Branch Library, 2026 Central St. – Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Chicago Ave./Main St. Branch Library, 900 Chicago Ave. – Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The Evanston Health and Human Services Department recommends the following steps to 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 let anyone sit in a hot car, even for a few minutes.

Community members are reminded to check on those at risk for heat-related illness, especially elderly individuals.

Update 5:20 p.m. 7/20/16: This story has been updated to reflect changes the city made today in its list of cooling center — dropping the Noyes Cultural Arts Center and adding the three library branches.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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