Mayor Michael B. Coleman is urging Columbus residents to take extra steps to stay cool and safe as temperatures reach the mid-90s this week. To help beat the heat, residents are invited to visit any of Columbus Recreation and Parks’ eight air-conditioned recreation centers, four outdoor pools or its outdoor sprayground pad.
“I urge all our residents to do what they can to stay cool during this week’s heat wave,” Mayor Coleman said. “While anyone can suffer from a heat-related illness, extreme heat is particularly dangerous to young children, seniors and people with underlying medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes and heart disease.”
The following Columbus air-conditioned recreation centers have programming for and are geared for seniors:
Gille, 4625 Morse Centre Rd.
Dodge, 667 Sullivant Ave.
Lazelle Woods, 8140 Sancus Blvd.
Marion Franklin, 2801 Lockbourne Rd.
Martin Janis, 600 E. 11th Ave.
Whetstone, 3923 N. High St.
In addition, the following two recreation centers also have air conditioning:
Beatty Recreation Center, 274 N. Ohio Ave.
Brentnell Recreation Center, 1280 Brentnell Ave.
Also, Columbus’ four outdoor pools are open from 1:30 to 6:30 p.m. and are free to the public:
Dodge, 545 Sullivant Ave.
Marion Franklin, 2699 Lockbourne Rd.
Tuttle, 240 W. Oakland Ave. (open until 7:30 p.m. each day)
Windsor, 1300 Windsor Ave.
The Columbus sprayground is also free and open daily from noon to 7:30 pm each day and is free. It is located at 1184 Barnett Rd.
Meanwhile, Columbus Public Health offers the following tips to stay cool and safe during extreme heat and humidity:
Drink plenty of water; do not wait until you are thirsty.
Stay inside in air conditioning whenever possible. If you do not have an air conditioner, use recreation centers, movie theatres, malls, libraries and other public places that are cool.
Avoid beverages with alcohol, caffeine and sugar that will dehydrate you.
Eat light meals.
Wear lightweight, light colored clothing and a hat.
Stay in the shade.
Limit outdoor activity to morning and evening hours.
Heat related illnesses such as heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke can strike at any time. Symptoms include dizziness, nausea, rapid heartbeat, headache, absence of perspiration and dry, hot flushed skin. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should seek immediate medical attention.
In addition to these safety tips, cooling assistance programs are available to qualifying people from several community organizations:
The Breathing Association and OhioHealth Home Energy Assistance Program – Summer Crisis Program, providing electric bill assistance and air conditioning units for elderly households and customers with qualifying incomes and medical conditions, July 1-August 31. Call for appointment at 566-0750.
LifeCare Alliance and 10TV Fan Club – Free fan program for households with immediate family members with chronic health conditions. For more information, contact 278-3130. (Currently, there is a waiting list.) New box fans also can be donated for the program at any City of Columbus fire station. For more information, call Michelle Jones at 437-2803.
Impact Community Action – Summer Crisis Program providing energy bill assistance to households that meet income eligibility guidelines and have a member more than 60 years of age with certain medical conditions. For guidelines and appointments, call 866-747-1038.
Franklin County Senior Options – Free fan program for current clients ages 60 years or older without a working air conditioner. (Clients who received a fan in the last two years are ineligible.) For more information, call 462-6200.
For more information on summer cooling programs or heat safety, visit the Columbus Public Health Web site at http://www.publichealth.columbus.gov/.