July 18, 2019
Officials Remind Residents to Take Precautions During the Hot Weather
Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele, along with the Office of Emergency Management (OEM), Department on Aging, Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) and other County departments, today reminded residents about County services during the summer months and provided residents with tips to avoid emergencies during heat and extreme weather.
“No matter the conditions outside, Milwaukee County will be ready,” said Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele. “During the extreme heat, we ask our residents to help us by checking in on neighbors and relatives, particularly vulnerable populations or those who may be isolated from friends and family.”
The National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory for south central and southeast Wisconsin from 12:00PM on July 18 through 11:00PM on July 19. Milwaukee County works with the National Weather Service and all local health departments to monitor the weather on an ongoing basis, and continues to implement, coordinate and improve plans to adapt to changing conditions to keep residents safe during the summer season.
"With the forecasted heat index of over 100F, heat exhaustion and heat stroke are very real and we can prevent injuries by keeping an eye on each other," said Christine Westrich, Director of the Milwaukee County Office of Emergency Management. “The County has partnered with local health departments to prepare for this summer's heat, and we urge everyone to check in on their neighbors, friends and family.”
Milwaukee County officials from OEM, DHHS, MCTS, Aging, Parks, and the Medical Examiner are part of the Milwaukee Heat Task Force, which coordinates agencies throughout the community and develops strategies to protect citizens during times of extreme heat.
Milwaukee County’s five senior centers – Clinton Rose Senior Center, Kelly Senior Center, McGovern Park Senior Center, Washington Park Senior Center and Wilson Park Senior Center – are designated as cooling sites for the entire community. Seniors looking information and resources during hot weather should contact the Milwaukee County Aging Resource Center at 414.289.6874 for assistance. For more information on senior centers and resources, visit: https://county.milwaukee.gov/EN/Department-on-Aging.
“Adults over 65, children under four and those with existing medical problems are most at risk for heat-related illness and even death,” said Holly Davis, Executive Director of the Milwaukee County Department on Aging. “We ask residents to help prepare for extreme weather, check on their neighbors during extreme temperatures and call for assistance when necessary."
Milwaukee County wading pools, splash pads, indoor and outdoor pools and beaches will be open during the heatwave. A full list of open sites is available at: www.MKEswim.com
All of MCTS buses are air-conditioned, and can serve serve as cooling centers during the extreme temperatures. Bus fare is $2.25 cash for adults, or $2.00 using the M-Card or Ride MCTS app. For more information, visit: https://www.ridemcts.com/fares-passes.
For a full list of cooling centers across Milwaukee County, visit: https://county.milwaukee.gov/files/county/MilwaukeeCountyCoolingCenters.pdf
In the event a resident in Milwaukee County has had power shut off, or are in danger of having power shut off, contact Milwaukee County Energy Assistance at 414.270.4653, or at EnergyAssistanceMKE.org. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 8:00AM to 5:00PM, and after hours through Impact 2-1-1
Milwaukee County urges residents to prepare for hot temperatures throughout the summer. Additional precautions to stay safe and cool during the heat wave include:
- Avoid unnecessary trips outside. If it is necessary to go outside, apply sunscreen generously and wear lightweight, loose fitting clothing.
- Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol.
- Check on your family members, and neighbors who do not have air conditioning, who spend much of their time alone or who are more likely to be affected by the heat.
- If you or someone you know is experiencing dizziness, headache, muscle cramps, weakness, and nausea or vomiting, it is important to cool down, get in the shade or indoors, and drink water or juice. If the symptoms escalate to include hot/dry skin, confusion, unconsciousness, chest pain or shortness of breath, call 911.
- It is NEVER safe to leave a toddler, disabled person or pet locked in a car.
- Don't leave pets outdoors. Most dogs, and all cats, are safer indoors, except when taken out for exercise.
For more information, visit: heat.readymke.org, and follow OEM at facebook.com/mkeoem and twitter.com/readymke.