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PNS Daily News - September 20, 2017 


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Hundreds of MO Cooling Sites Open in First Summer Heat Wave

In Missouri, most heat-related deaths occur in the urban areas of St. Louis and Kansas City, according to the state's Dept. of Health and Senior Services. (John Bergman/Pixabay)
In Missouri, most heat-related deaths occur in the urban areas of St. Louis and Kansas City, according to the state's Dept. of Health and Senior Services. (John Bergman/Pixabay)
July 12, 2017

PLEASANT HILL, Mo. – It isn't uncommon for Missouri to be oppressively hot this time of year – and it also isn't uncommon for Missourians to suffer from heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

So, the United Way has opened more than 400 cooling stations across the state, offering free, air-conditioned respite and cool water to the public during the hottest part of the day.

Meteorologist Dan Hawblitzel with the National Weather Service in Pleasant Hill says people can become dehydrated before they even notice they're thirsty – and in the summer, it can even happen during the night.

"It might even stay above 80 during the overnight hours and that doesn't allow your body to cool off, and that can add quite a bit of stress and lead to heat illness," he points out.

Hawblitzel says temperatures this summer have been typical for the state. It's usually during early to mid-July that the heat really begins to bear down.

For cooling center locations and hours of operation, dial 211 on a landline or 1-800-427-4626 on any other phone.

Hawblitzel says it's easy to discount the dangers of temperatures in the 90s, and heat indices about 100, especially if you've lived through many Show Me State summers without a problem.

"Just because you're OK one year, circumstances might be a little different the next year,” he states. “So, particularly people who are unhealthy or particularly prone to heat illness, they need to keep aware of the situation and take the proper precautions."

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services notes that 358 heat related deaths occurred between 2000 and 2013. About half were people age 65 and older, a population that often lives alone and has other complicating medical conditions.

Also, lack of air conditioning, or refusal to use it for fear of higher utility bills, contributes to the number of deaths among older people.




Kevin Patrick Allen, Public News Service - MO