Salvation Army re-opens Valdosta cooling shelter

File photoThe Salvation Army is re-opening its fellowship hall on Smithland Place as a cooling shelter as Valdosta bakes in 100-degree heat.

VALDOSTA — As Lowndes County broils in 100-degree temperatures, the Salvation Army has reopened its headquarters building as a cooling shelter for people with no other options for beating the heat.

The center — the fellowship hall at 320 Smithland Place — will be open from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. from Wednesday, June 22, through Friday, June 24, said Angela Lawrence, program manager for Valdosta’s Salvation Army location.

A cooler with cold water will be available, she said. Space is limited.

The fellowship hall had originally been opened to the public for cooling needs June 15-17.

The National Weather Service’s Valdosta forecast calls for a high of 100 Wednesday, 104 Thursday and 100 again Friday.

Lowndes County, the South Health District and Ready Georgia recently offered 10 tips for heat safety:

1. Never leave children or pets alone in closed vehicles.

2. Fluids are lost through perspiration, so it’s important to stay well hydrated. Drink plenty of water, even when you’re not thirsty.

3. Stay indoors in air-conditioned spaces as much as possible and limit exposure to the sun.

4. Dress in loose-fitting, lightweight and light-colored clothes that cover as much skin as possible.

5. Avoid strenuous work during the warmest part of the day. Drink two to four cups of water every hour when you are working outside.

6. Check on elderly neighbors and family and friends who do not have air conditioning.

7. Make sure pets have plenty of water and shade, be careful to not over-exercise them and keep them indoors when it's extremely hot.

8. Familiarize yourself with the symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

9. Insulate your home by installing weather stripping around your doors and windowsills to keep the cool air inside.

10. Closely monitor media for the latest information on excessive heat watches and warnings.

Terry Richards is senior reporter at The Valdosta Daily Times.

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