BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — As a scorching heat wave approaches south-central Indiana, the National Weather Service has issued a Heat Advisory for Monroe County, in effect from 8:00 AM on Thursday, July 27th, through 11:59 PM on Friday, July 28th. With temperatures expected to soar to the mid-90s and a heat index reaching around 105, the extreme heat poses potential hazards for residents during the two-day period.
In response to the heat advisory, the Monroe County Emergency Management Agency will activate nine Cooling Stations across the county on both Thursday, July 27th and Friday, July 28th. The Cooling Stations will be open from 9 AM to 8 PM on both days, providing a cool respite for individuals who lack access to adequate cooling facilities.
The Cooling Stations serve as essential locations for those seeking temporary relief from the intense heat. These facilities offer a safe place for individuals to cool down before continuing with their daily activities.
For the comfort and safety of residents and their furry companions, two fire stations, Stations 21 and 29 of the Monroe Fire Protection District, will open their doors to both humans and pets during the Cooling Station hours. Pet owners are reminded to bring their pets in a kennel or carrier for the pets’ safety and the comfort of other visitors.
To find the nearest Cooling Station, residents can refer to the provided map via this link: [Link to Cooling Station Map]
In addition to the official Cooling Stations, the YMCA of Monroe County – Southeast, located at 2125 S. Highland Ave., Bloomington, 47401, has also offered to welcome citizens during their business hours as a place to cool down if needed.
Medical experts from IU Health have expressed concerns about the potential increase in heat-related issues as temperatures rise. Heat exhaustion and heat stroke can be serious and even life-threatening conditions if not treated promptly. IU Health medical professionals advise individuals to stay hydrated and avoid prolonged exposure to high temperatures, especially those who work outdoors or lack access to air conditioning.
Dr. Robert Adams, an emergency medicine provider, and Acute Care Service Line Medical Executive at IU Health, warns that heat-related symptoms can escalate quickly and include nausea, headache, muscle aches, and intense thirst. Individuals experiencing signs of heat illness should seek refuge in air-conditioned spaces, rest, and hydrate.
Symptoms can worsen over time, leading to extreme fatigue, skin numbness, rapid breathing, and an inability to urinate or sweat. In severe cases, such as when a person stops sweating or experiences an altered mental state, confusion, seizure, or loss of consciousness, immediate medical attention is required, and 911 should be called.
For young children and infants, it may be challenging to identify heat-related issues. Dr. Jeremy Mescher, a pediatrician with Riley Physicians, advises parents to look for signs such as fever, lethargy, vomiting, and muscle rigidity in infants, as they may not be able to communicate their discomfort effectively.