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Prince George's County Prepares for Extreme Temperatures

WI Web Staff Report | 7/20/2011, 11:20 a.m.
County advises residents to stay cool, utilize cooling centers, look after neighbors/elderly...

County advises residents to stay cool, utilize cooling centers, look after neighbors/elderly

UPPER MARLBORO, MD - The National Weather Service is predicting extremely hot and humid weather this week for Prince George's County with temperatures exceeding 100 degrees and possible CODE RED air quality by the end of the week.

"We are very concerned about the weather report this week and I have asked all of our agencies to be engaged in keeping our citizens cool and safe," said Prince George's County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III. "Additionally, we ask all residents to use caution and common sense during these excessive temperatures, drink plenty of water, and, most importantly, look after family members and neighbors, especially the elderly."

When the air quality heat index is predicted to be in the CODE ORANGE or temperatures are expected to exceed 90 degrees, Prince George's County residents may seek comfort in air-conditioned Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission community centers and senior centers, libraries and local shopping malls to achieve relief from the heat. Individuals with health problems and who have no ready access to a cool environment--and particularly those at risk for heat-related illness--should take advantage of the county's publicly operated facilities.

Cooling Centers open for seniors at the following locations:

New Carrollton Nutrition Center, 6016 Princess Garden Parkway, Lanham from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Camp Springs Senior Activity Center, 6420 Allentown Road, Camp Springs from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m.

Cooling Centers open for the general public at the following locations from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Fairland Sports and Aquatics Center, 13820 and 13950 Old Gunpowder Road, Laurel, 301-362-6060

Rollingcrest-Chillum Community Center, 6120 Sargent Road, Chillum, 301-853-2005

Palmer Park Community Center, 7720 Barlowe Road, Landover, 301-773-5665

Hillcrest Heights Community Center, 2300 Oxon Run Drive, Hillcrest Heights, 301-505-0896

The Prince George's County Office of Homeland Security continues to recommend the following tips:

Elderly, infants and those with chronic illnesses can dehydrate more easily and are more susceptible to heat-related illnesses. Please check on relatives, friends, and neighbors.

Your best protection is to stay well hydrated. Sweat, or water, allows heat to evaporate from your skin's surface. If you become dehydrated, it is more difficult for your body to maintain an acceptable temperature. The best thing to drink is water. Gatorade or other sports drinks are also good. Avoid drinks containing alcohol or caffeine.

Limit heavy exertion when high levels of heat and humidity are present. High humidity levels make it more difficult for your body to dissipate heat.

Pets can get dehydrated quickly, so give them plenty of fresh, clean water when it's hot outdoors. Make sure your pets have a shady place to get out of the sun, be careful to not over-exercise them, and keep them indoors when it's extremely hot. Increase time spent in an air-conditioned environment.

Wear loose fitting, light colored clothing.

Take frequent rest breaks in the air conditioning or shade.

Eat smaller meals, more often.

Spend time at local pools or take cool baths.

Make sure pets have access to water and shade.

Continue to monitor weather reports for updates and tips.

In addition, Prince George's County first responders have been put on alert for an increase in heat-related response calls. The Prince George's County Office of Homeland Security will continue to update the public through the County's website at http://www.princegeorgescountymd.gov.