Mayor Chris Beutler and other local officials today urged residents to pay attention to heat advisories and warnings and take steps to protect themselves, their families and their pets. The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a heat advisory for Lancaster County until 8 p.m. tonight, with the heat index expected to be 100 to 104 degrees. The heat index is a more accurate measure of how hot it really feels when the humidity is added to the actual air temperature. Information on local weather, the heat index and safety precautions are available at the NWS Web site www.weather.gov.
The NWS also may issue an excessive heat warning, which means that a prolonged period of dangerously hot temperatures (heat index of 105 degrees or above) will create life-threatening conditions. If a heat warning is issued, the Lincoln Parks and Recreation Department is prepared to extend evening hours and/or weekend hours at the Belmont Community Center, 1234 Judson, and the "F" Street Community Center, 1225 "F" Street.
Those without air conditioning also can cool off during regular hours at libraries, senior centers and other recreation centers. Parks and Recreation also offers family swim nights at neighborhood pools with a fee of just $7 for the whole family. Information on regular and extended hours at City facilities is available at lincoln.ne.gov.
Aging Partners will distribute fans on a first-come-first-served basis to adults 60 and older who are in need. No financial screening is needed. The fans were collected as part of the "Be a Fan of Seniors" Donation Drive organized by the Coalition of Older Adults Health Promotion. Those needing fans can contact 402-441-7070. Fans are also available from local cultural centers and other nonprofits for those who meet eligibility requirements through a program offered by the Ne. Dept. of Health and Human Services. More information is available at dhhs.ne.gov (click on pages" then "newsroom.")
Health officials say children are more at risk from high temperatures because they adjust more slowly to the heat, have thinner skin, produce more heat with activity, sweat less and are less likely to rest or get a drink when they are active. Others at risk include the elderly, those with chronic diseases, those who are overweight and those using certain medications or alcohol.