With more heat and humidity on the way next week, Crawford County officials remind residents that Cooling Centers to prevent heat related illness or death in an extreme heat event will be made available to the public. Elements that may cause the opening of cooling centers include: The National Weather Service Weather Forecast Office issuing an Excessive Heat Outlook or an Excessive Heat Warning or Advisory. The County Board Chairman, Emergency Management Director, Health and Human Services Director, or Public Nurse can also order that they be open.
Excessive heat Outlooks are issued when the potential exists for an excessive heat event in the next 3-7 days. Excessive Heat Warnings are issued within 12 hours of the onset of the following
criteria: heat index of at least 105°F for more than 3 hours per day for 2 consecutive days, or heat index more than 115°F for any period of time. Cooling Centers will be offered when this criteria
Cooling centers may also be opened when heat indices of 105 degrees or greater, temperatures of 92 degrees or above with a dew point of greater than 72 degrees, are forecasted for three days
or more. Cooling centers are defined as places to spend periodic episodes of time out of extreme heat. The cooling centers will be open from 10:00am to 4:00pm. Cooling shelters may be opened when there is prolonged nighttime heat. An overnight minimum heat index above 90 degrees will be considered extreme nighttime heat. The cooling shelters will allow people a cool place to sleep at night and will be open from 7:00pm to 7:00am.
Public Health and Emergency management will work closely with the Salvation Army and other local volunteer groups to staff and supply the centers and shelters. Staffing needs will be determined by the center itself. Some cooling centers may not require it to be staffed.