Vermont Business Magazine Heat-related illnesses in Vermont become much more common when temperatures warm to the mid-80s and above, especially on sunny and humid days. Temperatures Friday could reach 90. With summer kicking into high gear and the thermometer moving up, the Department of Health has unveiled a new interactive map where Vermonters can find nearby places to cool off during hot weather.
“As we begin our annual adjustment to working and being outside in warmer weather, it’s important to know where you can go to cool off and stay safe,” said Jared Ulmer, climate and health program manager for the Health Department. “Vermonters can use this new map to find air-conditioned buildings, beaches, pools and other cooling locations available to the public.”
Warm temperatures, and especially extreme heat and humidity, can quickly lead to sometimes serious heat-related illness and even death. Muscle cramps, heavy sweating, nausea, headache, or dizziness may all indicate onset of heat illness.
Ulmer encourages everyone to be aware of the weather forecast and to know how to stay safe.
“You’d be surprised at how fast your body can be affected by the temperature,” said Ulmer. “Take frequent rest breaks, drink plenty of fluids, and spend time in the shade or a cooled room.”
Certain people are at higher risk of heat-related illness. Those who work or exercise outdoors, older adults and young children, people with obesity or other chronic medical conditions, people taking certain medications, and people using drugs or alcohol, should take extra precautions.
The cooling sites map and more tips on how to stay safe in the heat are at healthvermont.gov/climate/heat.
The National Weather Service issues a heat advisory, watch, or warning when the forecasted heat index is dangerously high. The Heat index is a measure of how hot it feels when relative humidity is factored in with the actual air temperature.
Ulmer said that being aware of these resources is increasingly important due to climate change. "Heat waves are becoming more intense and frequent. Over 1,400 people died last summer during an unprecedented heat wave in the northwestern United States and western Canada, an area with a similar summer climate to Vermont.”
To help prepare for similar heat emergencies, the Health Department and Vermont’s Regional Planning Commissions are partnering with communities to develop hot weather emergency response plans. Individuals and communities can email [email protected] for more information. You can find hot weather planning guidance for communities at healthvermont.gov/climate/heat#prepare.
FIND SOMEWHERE TO COOL OFF THIS SUMMER
Use the map below to find somewhere to take a break in air conditioning or splash in cool water. Please call the site before you go to confirm open hours and if there are entry fees. If you need more help finding or getting to a cooling site, please call 2-1-1. The map is showing indoor cooling centers only. We will add outdoor public access water sites to the map when water temperatures are safer.
Are you aware of cooling sites that are not on the map? Please let us know
We'd like to hear from you! Let us know if this map is helpful or if you'd like to share your impressions about cooling sites. Give us your feedback
Vermont Heat Safety Resources:
- National Weather Service – weather.gov/btv
- Follow @NWSBurlington
- Vermont Department of Health – healthvermont.gov/climate/heat
- Follow @healthvermont
- Vermont Emergency Management – vem.vermont.gov
- Follow @vemvt
- Social Media: #VTHeatSafety
- National Weather Service – weather.gov/heat
- Centers for Disease Control & Prevention – cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/index.html
- Federal Emergency Management Agency – ready.gov/heat
6.30.2022. BURLINGTON, VT – Department of Health