Cook County, Homeland Security, and Forest Preserve District Urge Citizens To Use County Services To Keep Cool

The Cook County Department of Homeland Security & Emergency Management (DHSEM) and the Forest Preserve District of Cook County, along with County Board President Toni Preckwinkle are encouraging citizens to be prepared and keep cool as temperatures elevate to the upper 90’s during what the National Weather Service advises is a “heat wave,” a period of extreme heat accompanied by high humidity. “We want to remind residents to be careful of heat related illnesses and to utilize the cooling centers located throughout Cook County,” Preckwinkle said. “I also urge everyone to be good neighbors and to check on the elderly, who often easily become victims of extreme heat.” “It is advised that residents stay inside, especially in air conditioning whenever possible. If you do not have an air conditioner, use libraries, police stations, fire stations, village halls and other public places that are cool,” DHSEM Executive Director Michael Masters said. “A few hours spent in cool conditions and prevent dehydration and other heat related illnesses.” DHSEM, working with other County agencies, urges residents to be on the alert for signs of the different stages of heat stress that may be caused by dangerously high temperatures and issues the following precautions: Stay indoors in air conditioning as much as possible, and in the shade if you go outside. If your home is not air conditioned, spend at least two hours daily at an air conditioned mall, library, or other public place. Wear sunscreen outside, along with light colored clothes that cover as much skin as possible. Drink water regularly even if you are not thirsty. Never leave children or pets alone in the car. Avoid exertion during the hottest part of the day. Take a cool shower or bath if you get too hot. Forest Preserve District General Superintendent Arnold Randall suggests utilizing the County’s three Aquatic Centers as another source for cooling off. “The safe welfare of our residents is an important part of the District’s ongoing efforts to increase accessibility and provide more options for residents to stay cool and have fun all summer long,” adds Randall. Center and addresses are as follows: Whelan Pool Aquatic Center – 6200 West Devon Avenue, east of Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago Cermak Family Aquatic Center – 7600 West Ogden Avenue, west of Harlem Avenue, at the DesPlaines River, Lyons Green Lake Family Aquatic Center – 1100 River Oaks Drive, Calumet City DHSEM will continue to work with the National Weather Service and local partners across Cook County to monitor weather conditions in Cook County.