Cooling stations to open across Volusia County.
Written by Kristen Schmutz
Belden Communications News
As the Central Florida region deals with its hottest summer in recorded history, Volusia County officials have designated the county’s 14 public library branches as cooling stations and have some tips to help residents beat the heat.
Emergency management officials strongly recommend that individuals who do not have access to air conditioning seek out cool places, particularly emphasizing the need for vulnerable populations such as children, senior citizens, and those with disabilities or chronic illnesses to find refuge from the sweltering conditions. Alternatives to libraries include indoor malls, movie theaters, or museums, which provide environments to escape the heat.
Residents can seek respite from the searing heat and humidity at any of the following library locations, each with their respective operating hours:
- Daytona Beach Regional Library, 105 Jackie Robinson Parkway, Daytona Beach Hours: Noon to 5 p.m. Sunday; 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday
- DeBary Public Library, 200 N. Charles R. Beall Blvd., DeBary Hours: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday and Wednesday; 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday
- DeLand Regional Library, 130 E. Howry Ave., DeLand Hours: Noon to 5 p.m. Sunday; 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday
- Deltona Regional Library, 2150 Eustace Ave., Deltona Hours: Noon to 5 p.m. Sunday; 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday
- Edgewater Public Library, 103 W. Indian River Blvd., Edgewater Hours: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday and Wednesday; 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday
- Hope Place Public Library, 1310 Wright St., Daytona Beach Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday
- John H. Dickerson Heritage Library, 4111 S. Keech St., Daytona Beach Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday
- Lake Helen Public Library, 221 N. Euclid Ave., Lake Helen Hours: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday
- New Smyrna Beach Regional Library, 1001 S. Dixie Freeway, New Smyrna Beach Hours: Noon to 5 p.m. Sunday; 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday
- Oak Hill Public Library, 125 E. Halifax Ave., Oak Hill Hours: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday
- Orange City Public Library, 148 Albertus Way, Orange City Hours: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday
- Ormond Beach Regional Library, 30 S. Beach St., Ormond Beach Hours: Noon to 5 p.m. Sunday; 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday
- Pierson Public Library, 115 N. Volusia Ave., Pierson Hours: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday
- Port Orange Regional Library, 1005 City Center Circle, Port Orange Hours: Noon to 5 p.m. Sunday; 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday
The City of DeLand will also operate a cooling center in the community room inside The Bridge shelter, 421 S. Palmetto Ave., from noon to 5 p.m. daily through Aug. 23.
The Town of Ponce Inlet will open cooling stations at two locations Monday morning until further notice:
- Ponce Inlet Town Hall, 4300 S. Atlantic Ave.: 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday
- Ponce Inlet Community Center, 4670 S. Peninsula Drive: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week
Heat-related illnesses pose a significant risk during such extreme weather conditions. Heat exhaustion, characterized by heavy sweating, cold and clammy skin, nausea or vomiting, muscle cramps, weakness, dizziness, headache, and possible fainting, requires immediate action. Individuals experiencing these symptoms should move to a cool place, loosen their clothes, apply cool and wet clothes to their bodies, take a cool shower, and stay hydrated by sipping water. If symptoms worsen or persist beyond an hour or if vomiting occurs, seek medical attention immediately.
Heat stroke, a medical emergency, exhibits symptoms such as a body temperature of 103 degrees or higher, hot, red skin, rapid pulse, headache, dizziness, nausea, confusion, and potential loss of consciousness. In such cases, it is crucial to call 911 immediately, relocate the person to a cool area, and lower their body temperature using a cool cloth or bath. It is important not to provide the person with any liquids to drink.
According to a release, the Florida Department of Health in Volusia County offers these tips to beat the heat.
- Wear lightweight, light-colored, and loose-fitting clothing.
- Stay indoors with air conditioning, especially during the hottest parts of the day.
- Schedule outdoor activities for early morning or later evening hours to avoid being outside during the hottest part of the day.
- Wear sunscreen.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Replace salts and minerals by drinking sports drinks after excessive sweat.
- Stay away from drinks with alcohol or sugar.
- Check on your neighbors and friends.
- Know the warning signs of heat-related illness and how to treat them.
- Check the news regularly for weather updates.
- Additional precautions
“If you feel overheated or unwell, act immediately,” said Emergency Services Director Jim Judge. “Stop any strenuous activity, go somewhere cool, drink water or an electrolyte beverage, and cool off by taking a cold shower or holding something cold against your skin. Call someone for help or 911 – before your condition compromises your thinking skills.”
The county also stresses the significance of never leaving children, older adults, or pets unattended in vehicles, as the interior temperatures can rapidly become life-threatening.
Volusia County Animal Services recommends that pet owners follow these safety tips.
- Keep plenty of clean, cool drinking water available at all times.
- Keep your pet indoors during the hottest times of the day.
- Never leave your pet in a parked car, even for a minute.
- Protect your pet from the sun. If your pet must stay in the yard instead of cool indoors, ensure they have adequate shade and ventilation.
- To help your pet stay cool, clip coats short but not shaven. Sunburn is a danger to animals, especially light-colored animals.
- Dog pads burn easily, so avoid hot surfaces such as asphalt on hot days. Exercise pets in the morning or evening when it is cooler.
The key symptoms of overheating in pets are excessive panting, stupor, and collapse. Other symptoms include difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, vomiting, bloody diarrhea, and seizures.
If your pet becomes overcome by the heat, place a cool, wet towel on the animal. When the towel becomes warm, replace it with another cool towel. Never immerse a pet in ice-cold water, as it may cause shock.
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