Heat shelters become available following soaring temperatures

LIMA — With temperatures in the 90s through Saturday and low temperatures at night providing little relief, organizations are providing advice and opening their facilities to people who need shelter.

The following locations are offering shelter from the heat:

• The Allen County Council on Aging, 700 N. Main St., Lima. They are open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and will provide water and snacks.

Village of Continental Fire Station, 102 Elm St., Continental, will be open as a cooling station Tuesday from 1 to 7 p.m. and Wednesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. with bottles of water available.

Leipsic Community Center, 120 E. Main St., Leipsic, during normal business hours. They are open Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Parish Hall at Ottoville Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, 189 N. Church St., Ottoville, during normal business hours. They are open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Allen County Emergency Management Agency Director Jared Gesler said his organization has no shelters for heat open currently, but if major power outages occur, they will re-evaluate the need for shelters.

In a news release, the Red Cross cited 2,300 heat-related deaths occurred last year and advised people to slow down during outdoor activities, stay hydrated, and spend time indoors in an air-conditioned environment. If someone’s home doesn’t have air-conditioning, they recommended going to a public library or a shopping mall. Libraries might be closed Wednesday in observance of the federal holiday Juneteenth.

The Red Cross also mentioned the warning signs of heat illnesses.

The first signs of illness can be heat cramps, which involves heavy sweating and muscle pains or spasms. Heat exhaustion symptoms include heavy sweating; cool, pale and clammy skin; a fast or weak pulse; nausea or vomiting; muscle cramps; tiredness or weakness; a headache; dizziness or passing out. Heat stroke can be indicated by a high body temperature; hot, red, dry or damp skin; a fast or strong pulse; a headache; dizziness; nausea; confusion or passing out. Anyone experiencing signs of heat stroke should seek medical attention and they should not have anything to drink.

The Ohio Department of Health in a news release wrote high-risk groups for heat include infants; young children; older adults; people with mental illness and medical conditions like heart disease, obesity and poor blood circulation; people who are pregnant, work and exercise outdoors; and people taking certain medications.

The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning for Allen, Putnam, Van Wert and Defiance counties, among others, until Friday at 8 p.m. The NWS defines this warning as “when the maximum heat index temperature is expected to be 105 degrees or higher for at least two days and night time air temperatures will not drop below 75 degrees.”

Reach Charlotte Caldwell at 567-242-0451.