FARMERSBURG, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — With a Heat Advisory in effect for the entire Wabash Valley through the middle of the week, many local organizations have begun to announce cooling centers to offer residents a break from the scorching temperatures and heat indices.

“The Heat Wave has arrived,” WTWO Meteorologist Julie Henricks said. “Excessive Heat Warning for all Illinois counties through Thursday with heat indices up to 115 degrees. Heat Advisory for all Indiana counties through Thursday with heat indices to 110.”

According to NOAA, a heat advisory will be in place until Wednesday morning with an excessive heat watch expected to continue through Thursday, Henricks explained that the advisory may be modified or extended depending on how things play out as the week continues under the watch.

“We are expecting some of the most dangerous heat temperatures of the season. We are advising all persons to stay in as much as possible and keep hydrated,” Greene County EMA Director Roger Axe said. “Do not forget pets. Not only do they need more water but walking them on pavements and sidewalks could be dangerous to the pads on their feet due to the excess heat.”

Cooling centers opened

In response to expected weather, Reach Services in Terre Haute has announced that a cooling center has been established in the Pathways building at 504 S. 15th Street in Terre Haute.

Reach Services said the center would be open from 9:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. each day. Laundry services will be available from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. with shower availability ending at 7:00 p.m. each evening. Reach asked that any organizations wishing to assist through a donation of snacks or meals can call the Charity Department at 812-232-6305.

Vigo County’s EMA has announced that the Salvation Army facility located at 234 S. 8th Street in Terre Haute will be open as a cooling center from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

In Greene County, the EMA has announced that the Bloomfield Community Building at 498 North Lincoln Drive will be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Friday to allow residents a place to get a break from the heat. EMA director Roger Axe has asked any area churches or organizations willing to open as cooling centers to call him at 812-384-4127.

The Vermillion County Emergency Management Agency has announced that a cooling center has also been established at the Clinton Community Center at 301 S. Main Street. The center will open from 8 a.m. until 7 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. Questions can be directed to the EMA at 765-832-5500.

Tips to stay safe in the heat

The Chicago-based FEMA Region 5 office has released the following tips for residents dealing with this week’s heat

• Watch for heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides a list of warning signs and symptoms of heat illness and recommended first aid steps.
• Stay indoors as much as possible and limit exposure to the sun. If you don’t have access to air conditioning at home, find places in your community with AC, such as a local cooling center.
• Keep your home as cool as possible. For example, roughly 40% of unwanted heat buildup in our homes is through windows. Use awnings or curtains to keep the heat out, and check the weather stripping on doors and windows to keep the cool air in.
• If you must be outside, find shade. Avoid strenuous activity, cover your head with a hat wide enough to protect your face, and wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
• Drink plenty of water, even if you don’t feel thirsty.
• NEVER leave people or pets in a parked car.

For more tips on how to stay safe during hot temperatures visit the website here.