Temperatures will reach beyond 90 degrees starting Wednesday, July 26 into the weekend, likely becoming a heat wave.
The South Hadley Senior Center and the South Hadley Public Library are designated cooling shelters for residents who need to keep cool.
The South Hadley Public Library at 2 Canal St is open:
Monday - Wednesday: 9:30 am - 8 pm
Thursday & Friday: 9:30 am - 6 pm
Saturday: 9:30 am - 1 pm
The South Hadley Senior Center at 45 Dayton St is open:
Monday – Friday: 8 a.m. - 4:30
Tuesday 8 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Extreme heat is a prolonged period of very hot weather, which may include high humidity. In Massachusetts, a “heat wave” is usually defined as a period of three or more consecutive days above 90 °F, according to the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency.
Extreme heat can be dangerous and even life-threatening if proper precautions are not taken. In extreme heat and high humidity, the body must work extra hard to maintain a normal temperature.
Most heat-related illnesses occur because the victim has been over-exposed to heat or has over-exercised for his or her age and physical condition. Although anyone can suffer from a heat-related illness, some people are at greater risk than others. Those at greater risk include older adults, young children and those who are sick or overweight. To reduce the risks of extreme heat conditions, take the proper safety precautions to protect yourself and your family.
Residents can prepare for a heat wave by signing up for various weather alerts. Other tips include:
- Install air conditioners snugly, insulating if necessary.
- Cover windows that receive morning or afternoon sun. Outdoor awnings or louvers can reduce the heat that enters a home by up to 80 percent.
- Never leave children or pets alone in a closed vehicle. Even with the windows cracked open, interior temperatures can rise almost 20°F within 10 minutes.
- Slow down and avoid strenuous activity.
- Wear lightweight, loose-fitting, light-colored clothing. Light colors reflect heat and sunlight, and help maintain normal body temperature.
- Drink plenty of water — even if you are not thirsty. Avoid alcoholic beverages and liquids high in sugar or caffeine.
- Eat well-balanced, light, regular meals.
- Stay indoors as much as possible and limit exposure to the sun. Do not leave pets outside for extended periods of time.
- If you must be outdoors, limit your outdoor activity to the morning and evening hours. Try to rest often in shady areas so your body temperature will have a chance to recover. Use sunscreen with a high SPF and wear a wide-brimmed hat.
- If you do not have air conditioning, stay on your lowest floor, out of the sun. Use fans to stay cool and avoid using your stove and oven. Consider spending time in air-conditioned public spaces, such as the South Hadley Public Library and the South Hadley Senior Center.