If you can't stand the heat...


With blistering temperatures sure to return any day now, you’ll stay safe by staying cool. The National Weather Service points out that heat is one of the leading weather-related causes of death in the U.S., and when it’s combined with the high humidity typical in our area, sweltering summer days can be downright dangerous.

According to the NWS, one of the best ways to avoid overheating when the mercury soars is to simply slow down. By avoiding rigorous activities, or postponing them until the day cools, you can reduce the risk of heat trauma significantly. Other measures people should take — especially children and the elderly — include wearing lightweight clothing, drinking plenty of fluids and steering clear of alcohol and caffeine.

Libraries, shopping malls and other air-conditioned spaces are good places to cool off if you don’t have A/C in your house, and the NWS also recommends using the buddy system: keeping track of family members and friends who are more frail any time the heat index tops 90 degrees.

Nassau County and the Town of Hempstead are prepared to help when there is dangerous heat in our area. During the heat wave in mid-July, more than a dozen cooling centers were made available to residents, and hours at pools and beaches were extended. The website www.townofhempstead.org lists the latest cooling center hours, and you can reach the county Parks Department at (516) 292-9000 for updated cooling center info.

The following is a list of area cooling centers. Hours are generally 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., but are subject to change.

- Baldwin Senior Center, 1810 N. Grand Ave., (516) 546-7110.

- Bellmore Senior Center, 2000 Bellmore Ave., (516) 221-9696.

- Cedarhurst Senior Center, 200 Cedarhurst Ave., (516) 295-1177 (open until 4:30 p.m.).

- East Meadow Senior Center, 1485 Front St., (516) 794-2458.

- Elmont Senior Center, 138 Elmont Road, (516) 354-4777.

- Franklin Square Senior Center, 1182 Martha Place, (516) 328-3010.

- Green Acres Senior Center, 400 Flower Road, Valley Stream, (516) 872-8810.

- Levittown Senior Center, 555 N. Newbridge Road, (516) 433-5454.

- Merrick Senior Center, 2550 Clubhouse Road, (516) 868-4777.

- Oceanside Senior Center, 2900 Rockaway Ave., (516) 766-8888.

- Rosa Parks Senior Center, 2 Babylon Turnpike, Roosevelt, (516) 867-1612.

- Salisbury Senior Center, 460 Salisbury Park Drive, Westbury, (516) 333-5440.

- Uniondale-Hempstead Senior Center, 840 Uniondale Ave., Uniondale, (516) 292-1313.

- Uniondale-Merrick Senior Center, 750 Jerusalem Ave., Uniondale, (516) 538-5050.

- Wantagh Senior Center, 1150 Seamans Neck Road, (516) 785-8505.