VALDOSTA — In anticipation of some high temperatures over the next several days, the City of Valdosta and the Valdosta-Lowndes Parks and Recreation Authority (VLPRA) have opened the doors to some city facilities as a refuge from the heat for those at greatest risk of a heat related illness.
The National Weather Service predicts the heat index values for today to reach as high as 104 degrees. Temperatures for Wednesday and Thursday of this week are predicted to be 100 degrees each day, with the heat index as high as 108 degrees. For this reason, the Mathis City Auditorium, at 2300 N. Ashley Street, and the VLPRA Mildred M. Hunter Community Center, at 509 S. Fry Street, will be available during normal hours of operation to the elderly, those who are living in circumstances with no air conditioning, or anyone needing relief from the heat. Mathis City Auditorium will be opened from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday, and the VLPRA Mildred Hunter Center will be opened until 6 p.m. on Monday through Thursday, and until 5 p.m. on Friday. At the very least, these facilities will give citizens a safe place to go to get out of the extreme temperatures and get a cool drink of water.
Senior citizens may also visit the VLPRA Senior Citizen Community Center, at 1360 East Park Avenue. The facility, which is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, offers seniors a cool place to retreat during the hot days while also enjoying a variety of senior citizen activities.
These facilities will be open for relief today and for the remainder of the week, as well as any other time the heat index tops 100 degrees.
The City of Valdosta encourages all citizens to avoid strenuous physical activities during the extreme heat and to remain indoors during the hottest parts of the day. Citizens may also endure the anticipated hot days ahead by drinking plenty of water and wearing light and breathable clothing.
Citizens should also take the following steps, listed on the Centers for Disease Control website (www.cdc.gov) to prevent heat-related illnesses, injuries, and deaths during hot weather:
- Stay in an air-conditioned indoor location
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing and sunscreen.
- Schedule outdoor activities carefully.
- Pace yourself.
- Take cool showers or baths to cool down.
- Check on a friend or neighbor and have someone do the same for you.
- Do not leave children (or pets) in cars.
- Check the local news for health and safety updates.
For more information, contact the Public Information Office at (229) 259-3548.