NEWS & ANALYSIS

06/17/2024
Climate Preparedness, HSC Publications

Bracing for This Week’s Heat Wave

The Columbus Region is bracing for a sustained heat wave, and we’re here to help you and your communities navigate it. It will be severe enough that the National Weather Service has declared a heat advisory through Sunday, with the worst of it arriving Wednesday. We will be regularly updating this page over the course of this week; please let us know what other information you need, and we will add it accordingly.


Resources for You to Share With Your Teams/Networks | Cooling Center/Station Information

We have prepared this Google Map with all the below information about facilities that will be open and welcoming anyone in need of relief from the heat this week:

  • All Columbus Parks & Recreation Community Centers will serve as cooling centers during their regular operating hours. All but five of the locations will be closed on Wednesday in commemoration of Juneteenth.
    • However, these five community centers will serve as cooling centers starting on Wednesday, June 19th from 9 AM to 9 PM, until the heat advisory has ended:
      • Dodge Community Center
      • Driving Park Community Center
      • Glenwood Community Center
      • Linden Community Center
      • Marion Franklin Community Center
  • All 23 Columbus Metropolitan Library locations will be open during regular business hours. All but four of the locations will be closed on Wednesday in commemoration of Juneteenth. 
    • However, these four Columbus Metropolitan Library locations will have extended hours (from 12 to 8 PM on Wednesday; and will be open until 8 PM on Friday, June 21st and Saturday, June 22nd):
      • Main Library
      • Driving Park
      • Hilltop
      • Northern Lights
  • Emergency Shelters are welcoming clients to remain inside during the heat advisory. 
  • Street Outreach is actively engaging with individuals experiencing unsheltered homelessness, providing them with information, supplies, and assistance with accessing resources. 

Resources for You to Share With Your Teams/Networks | Health & Heat-Related Information for Health & Human Services Nonprofits

The heat advisory this week, as declared by the National Weather Service, shows that the Columbus area will be experiencing a “major risk” today and tomorrow, and an extreme risk Wednesday thru Saturday, and a major risk again on Sunday. Here’s what Wednesday looks like, the day we’re all probably most concerned about given the challenges folks may have getting indoors with so many places likely to be closed: 

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In hot temperatures, your body may be unable to cool itself properly, leading to serious health problems. Heat exhaustion can occur after you’ve been exposed to high temperatures, and it is often accompanied by dehydration. Without proper intervention, heat exhaustion can progress to heat stroke, a health emergency. 

High temperatures receive a lot of focus when the heat index should be the focus. The heat index or ‘real feel’ is a tool used to indicate how intense the heat is and the risks it poses to people.

The higher the index, the more dangerous prolonged exposure is to human health. Several variables in the air affect how the temperature feels, and it can be tricky to communicate. 

Groups most at risk of heat illness include children, older adults, people experiencing homelessness, people with pre-existing conditions, people with disabilities, indoor and outdoor workers, emergency responders, incarcerated people, low-income communities, pregnant people, athletes, and more. Pets and service and support animal owners should take special precautions to protect the health of their animals during extreme heat conditions.

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As direct service providers to many of these populations, nonprofit staff are an invaluable resource in preventing heat-related illness and death in the Columbus community. 

The mantra to remember is as follows: Avoid. Spot. Treat.

We will be regularly updating this page as the week goes along. Please help us share these resources, and let’s all stay safe!