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Cooling centers open as heatwave hits Michiana

As the heat and humidity hit, we’ve all heard it before.

Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate.

And for the next few days, that couldn’t hold more true and many Michiana are at risk.

“The elderly that are at home, especially the ones that live alone. That’s where we have the biggest incidents of calls,” said Lieutenant Bill McAllister of the Niles Fire Department.

For the elderly heat can be a real cause for concern.

No air conditioning, nowhere to go and no one checking in on them.

REAL Services serves the elderly and those in need including places like South Bend, Elkhart and Mishawaka.

The organization is celebrating 50 years and CEO Becky Zaseck says it’s because of the efforts of their volunteers during the severe weather, hot or cold, that make the difference.

“Most important about meals on wheels and other services we provide is that they are checking in on someone. Not only are they nourishing them but asking are you ok,” said Zaseck.

Because of recent improvements in education, McAllister says there have been less incidents and calls due to heat.

“But the ones we have seen they have been pretty severe. Just not getting the advice that’s being put out there,” said McAllister.

“Rehydrate. Stay in the shade. Just take it easy. Don’t try to over-exert yourself,” said Zaseck.

And for those that don’t have air, there are public cooling centers, including this one at the Niles Fire Department, where folks can spend time to get away from the heat free of charge.

“If it’s going to be like it’s going to be. Go stay with a friend. Come here to the cooling center. Stay out of the heat,” said McAllister.

Cooling Center Locations:

South Bend:

O'Brien Recreation Center - 321 E. Walter St.

Charles Black, Sr. Recreation Center - 3419 W. Washington St.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Recreation Center - 1522 Linden Ave.

St. Vincent de Paul Society of St. Joseph County - 520 Crescent Ave.

Elkhart:

Faith Mission of Elkhart - 801 Benham Ave.

Niles:

Niles Fire Station Complex - 1345 E. Main Street.

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