Clark County Public Health urges residents to take precautions during upcoming hot weather

The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning for the region from Wednesday through Saturday

VANCOUVER – Another stretch of hot weather is expected in Clark County this week. Public Health is urging residents to take steps to prevent heat-related illness and to check on people who may be at increased risk.

Another stretch of hot weather is expected in Clark County this week. Public Health is urging residents to take steps to prevent heat-related illness and to check on people who may be at increased risk.
File photo.

The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning for the region from Wednesday through Saturday. Temperatures are forecast to reach or exceed 100 degrees on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, and expected to remain in the upper 90s on Saturday. Overnight low temperatures are expected to be in the upper 60s.

“The warm overnight temperatures mean people will not find much relief from the heat in the evening,” said Dr. Alan Melnick, Clark County health officer and Public Health director. “It’s important that people find reprieve from the heat. If you don’t have air conditioning in your home, go to a cooling center or a public place with air conditioning or ask if you can visit a friend or family member with air conditioning in their home.”

Periods of intense or prolonged heat can lead to heat-related illness, even in young and healthy people. Elderly people, babies and young children, and people with mental illness and chronic diseases are at higher risk of developing heat-related illness. Public Health encourages people to regularly check on friends, family members and neighbors who may be at increased risk.

Here are some steps to take to prevent heat-related illness:

  • Avoid or limit physical activity outdoors.
  • Drink more water and other nonalcoholic fluids, regardless of your activity level. 
  • Limit intake of drinks with caffeine, alcohol or lots of sugar. 
  • Stay indoors, in an air-conditioned location, as much as possible.
  • Never leave a person, especially a young child, or a pet in a parked vehicle. Temperatures can rise rapidly in parked vehicles, even with the windows rolled down.
  • Fans will not prevent heat-related illness. Cool off in the shower or bath or move to an air-conditioned place.
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothes.

Several cooling centers are available across Clark County; many are located on C-Tran bus routes. Some facilities may require face coverings and physical distancing. Here is a list of cooling centers, compiled by Clark Regional Emergency Services Agency (CRESA):

  • Camas Public Library, 625 NE Fourth Ave.
    • 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday-Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday-Saturday.
  • Fort Vancouver Regional Libraries
    • Battle Ground Community Library, 1207 SE Eighth Way: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday-Saturday. 
    • Cascade Park Community Library, 600 NE 136th Ave., Vancouver: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday-Saturday.  
    • La Center Community Library, 1411 NE Lockwood Creek Road: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday-Wednesday and Friday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday.
    • Ridgefield Community Library, 210 N Main Ave.: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday-Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday-Saturday.
    • Three Creeks Community Library, 800-C NE Tenney Road, Vancouver: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday-Saturday. 
    • Vancouver Community Library, 901 C St.: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday-Sunday. 
    • Vancouver Mall Community Library, Vancouver Mall Suite 285: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday-Saturday, noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.
    • Washougal Community Library, 1661 C St.: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday.
    • Woodland Community Library, 770 Park St.: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday.
    • Yacolt Library Express, 105 E Yacolt Road: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday-Sunday.
  • Mill Plain United Methodist Church, 15804 SE Mill Plain Blvd., Vancouver
    • 2-8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday
  • Orchards Seventh Day Adventist Church, 6415 NE 102nd Ave., Vancouver
    • 2-6 p.m. Wednesday-Friday
  • St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, 400 S Andresen Road, Vancouver
    • 3:30-8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday
  • St. Paul Lutheran Church, 1309 Franklin Ave., Vancouver
    • 1-7 p.m. Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday-Friday 
  • Washougal Community Center, 1681 C St.
    • 2-8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday

Check the CRESA website for more information about the sites and a map of locations. Additional locations may be added.

Know the signs

Knowing the signs of heat illness is important. Heat stroke can cause death or permanent disability if emergency treatment is not provided. 

Warning signs of heat stroke include:

  • body temperature above 103 degrees
  • red, hot and dry skin (no sweating)
  • rapid pulse
  • throbbing headache
  • nausea
  • dizziness
  • confusion

Call 9-1-1 if someone is experiencing signs of heat stroke. Place the person in distress in a bath or cool shower or spray the person with cool water from a garden hose. Do not give the person fluids to drink.

Less severe heat-related illnesses include heat exhaustion and muscle cramps. Signs of heat exhaustion are:

  • heavy sweating
  • paleness
  • tiredness
  • weakness
  • dizziness
  • headache
  • vomiting

When experiencing heat exhaustion, cool the body by drinking non alcoholic, cool beverages, moving to an air-conditioned place, taking a cool (not cold) bath or shower, and wearing lightweight clothing. Seek medical attention if symptoms worsen or last more than an hour.

More information about heat-related illness is available on the Public Health website

Information provided by Clark Co. WA Communications.

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