The National Weather Service says the heat index will reach 100 degrees this afternoon and 95 degrees tomorrow and so the city is opening cooling centers around Evanston.

The city’s health director, Evonda Thomas-Smith, is urging all residents to take preventive actions during this extremely hot weather to avoid heat-related illness, such as heat stroke.

Those without air conditioning may visit the following public cooling centers:

  • Chandler-Newberger Center at 1028 Central St. open until 9 p.m.
  • Ecology Center at 2024 McCormick Blvd. open until 4:30 p.m.
  • Fleetwood-Jourdain Center at 1655 Foster St. open until 9 p.m.
  • Noyes Cultural Arts Center at 927 Noyes St. open until 7p.m.
  • Levy Senior Center at 300 Dodge Ave. open until 9 p.m.
  • Robert Crown Center at 1701 Main St. open until midnight
  • Main Public Library at 1703 Orrington Ave. open until 9 p.m.

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

  • Drink lots of water, sports beverages or natural juices.
  • Avoid alcohol, caffeine and a 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 sit or let anyone sit in a hot car, even for a few minutes.
  • Check on people at risk for heat related illness, especially the elderly.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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