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Cooling Centers Open; Norwalkers urged to keep cool, stay hydrated, and check on others

With humidity rising and temperatures expected to climb into the upper 80s and low 90s this week, Mayor Harry Rilling has activated Norwalk’s cooling centers through Sunday, and has asked residents to check on those who may be at greater risk from the heat.

The mayor also asked pet owners to make sure animals are not left outside for extended periods. “Heat index values of this kind can cause heat-related illnesses among humans and animals, and I urge everyone to stay hydrated and cool,” Rilling said in a news release.

The following Norwalk public cooling centers will be open from noon on Tuesday, June 18, until noon on Sunday, June 23:  

The Norwalk Police Department Community Room, 1 Monroe Street, 24 hours a day, every day.

Norwalk Public Library Main Branch, 1 Belden Avenue

  • Tuesday, 10 a.m until 5:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday closed in observance of Juneteenth
  • Thursday, 10 a.m until 8 p.m.
  • Friday, 10 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, 10 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, 1 p.m. until 5 p.m

 Norwalk Public Library SoNo Branch, 10 Washington Street

  • Tuesday, noon until 8 p.m.
  • Wednesday, closed in observance of  Juneteenth
  • Thursday, 10 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.
  • Friday, 10 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, 10 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, 1 p.m. until 5 p.m.

The SoNo Collection, 100 North Water Street, while not an officially designated cooling spot, is air-conditioned.

Garbage and recycling collection will start at 6 a.m. rather than 7 a.m. on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Bins should be put out the night before their scheduled pickup to avoid confusion. Note that although Wednesday, June 19 is Juneteenth, a state holiday, there will still be garbage and recycling collection on that day.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), those at higher risk from the heat include:

• Infants and young children

• People 65 or older

• People who are overweight

• People who overexert due to work or exercise

• People who are physically ill, especially with heart disease or high blood pressure, or who take certain medications, such as for depression, insomnia, or poor circulation. 

The CDC recommends people:

• Dress for the heat. Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing. Light colors will reflect away some of the sun’s energy. It is also a good idea to wear sun hats or use umbrellas.

• Drink water. Carry water with you and drink continuously even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid alcohol and caffeine, which dehydrate the body.

• Eat small meals and eat more often. Avoid high-protein foods, which increase metabolic heat.

• Slow down. Avoid strenuous activity. If you can’t, do it during the coolest part of the day, which is usually in the morning between 4 a.m. and 7 a.m.

• Stay indoors when possible. If air-conditioning is not available where you are, stay on the lowest floor out of the sunshine. Remember that electric fans do not cool; they circulate the air.

• Be a good neighbor. During heat waves, check in on elderly residents in your neighborhood and those who do not have air-conditioning.

• Be mindful. Never leave people, especially children and pets, in a closed or parked vehicle.

• Don’t get too much sun. Sunburn makes cooling down much more difficult.

• Stay cool. If there is no air-conditioning or fans in your home, consider visiting friends or family who have air-conditioning or one of the City’s cooling centers mentioned above.

More information in multiple languages on how to cope with extreme heat can be found at  https://www.ready.gov/heat.

Norwalk has an Extreme Heat Alert webpage offering safety tips and resources at https://norwalkct.gov/3577/Extreme-Heat-Alert.

For children and their families, the American Red Cross and FEMA have preparedness activities and storybooks featuring Pedro the Penguin in English and Spanish at Prepare with Pedro | Red Cross.

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