Cooling centers will be popping up everywhere this week to help protect Virginia residents from the intense pre-summer heat wave.

With a heat advisory in effect this past Tuesday and hot temps predicted all week, according to WAVY-TV 10, the James City County Recreation Center (located at 5301 Longhill Road) will serve as a cooling center for the James City community. The center will be open Monday through Thursday from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.

The cooling center will have air conditioning and a place to sit down and rest. Although service animals will be allowed on the premises, household pets are prohibited. For more information about the James City cooling center, please call (757) 259-4200.

Not in James City? Don’t worry! The city of Suffolk will also have a variety of locations open during regular business hours:

Suffolk Health Department and Social Services
135 Hall Ave.,
Suffolk, VA 23434
(757) 514-4700

Suffolk City Hall
442 W. Washington St.,
Suffolk, VA 23434
(757) 514-4000

Morgan Memorial Library
443 W. Washington St.,
Suffolk, VA 23434
(757) 514-7323

North Suffolk Library
2000 Bennetts Creek Park Rd.,
Suffolk, VA 23435
(757) 514-7150

Chuckatuck Library
5881 Godwin Blvd.,
Suffolk, VA 23432
(757) 514-7310

Tips on How to Beat the Heat, According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention

  • Stay inside, if possible. Hiding out in an air-conditioned place is the best way to prevent a heat-related illness. If your apartment or home doesn’t have air conditioning, go to a public library, coffee shop, or shopping mall. Spending just a few hours in an air-conditioned environment can help your body stay cooler whenever you decide to go back out into the heat. If all else fails, call your local health department to see if there are any heat-relief shelters or cooling centers in your area.
  • Plan accordingly. Schedule outdoor activities for when it’s coolest outside (i.e., the early morning and evening hours). If you do participate in an outdoor event when it’s hot, rest often in a shady space, so your body has time to recover.
  • Don’t overdo it. If you’re used to exercising outside, you might want to switch it up a bit when it gets too hot. Try Googling an indoor workout — there are plenty of at-home workouts on YouTube, like Blogilates.
  • Wear sunscreen. Sunburn can cause the body to become dehydrated. The CDC recommends slathering on a sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher 30 minutes before going out. Reapply according to the package directions. Sunscreens that read “broad spectrum” or “UVA/UVB protection” work best.
  • Stay informed. Check your local news for extreme heat alerts and safety tips. Please note: Even though anyone can suffer from a heat-related illness, some people are at a greater risk than others, including young children and elderly people 65 or older. 

Will you be taking advantage of one of the city's many cooling centers? Let us know in the comment section below!

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