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The heat is on in North Idaho

by EMILY BONSANT
Hagadone News Network | August 15, 2023 1:00 AM

The heat is on with temperatures predicted to reach over 100 degrees this week.

That has officials encouraging residents to stay cool and be safe.

Among them, Boundary County Emergency Management director Andrew O’Neel advised residents to stay cool, keep an eye out for heat stresses, and follow National Weather Service recommendations.

No announcements have been made if any cooling centers will be opened in Bonner County. However, a series of cooling centers have been set up in Boundary County, including Mt. Hall Community Church, Kootenai Valley Mennonite Church, Moyie Springs City Hall, Senior Hospitality Center, Trinity Lutheran Church, and Naples Community Room, Naples Fire Station.

“Boundary County Emergency Management has worked with local churches that are members of a group called 9B CAREs, and who will often open their doors to residents as a cooling center if they have air conditioning and people who are willing to volunteer to staff it,” he said.

Forecasts are calling for it to range from 98 degrees to 108 degrees Fahrenheit.

“I don’t have a policy, per, se, [on cooling shelters] but I use 100 degrees as a point where I start asking if the churches can act as cooling centers,” O’Neel said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, signs of heat stress include:

• Signs of livestock heat stress include: lethargy, staggering, drooling or slobbering, open mouth breathing and aimless wandering.

• Protect actions for livestock includes: providing shade, cool drinking water, use fans, and if possible minimize handling.

• Similarly for pets, provide ample water and shade, watch humidity levels and hot pavement, limit exercise and don’t rely on a fan to regulate temperature. As always, never leave pets parked in a car.

• Keep your eyes out for heat exhaustion and heat stroke in people.

• Signs of heat exhaustion include dizziness, thirst, heavy sweating, nausea and weakness. Act fast and remove the person to a cooler area, loosen clothing, sip cool water and seek medical help if symptoms don’t improve.

• Heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke.

• Signs of heat stroke include confusion, dizziness and becoming unconscious. Act fast and call 911. Move the person to a cooler area, loosen clothing and remove extra layers, cool with water or ice.

• Heat stroke can cause death or permanent disability if emergency treatment is not given.

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(Courtesy Photo)

Heat exhaustion and heat stroke signs.