Polk County Health Department

Central Iowa experiences first extreme heat event - Take precautions especially when outdoors

(Des Moines, IA) – With very hot weather expected this weekend the Polk County Health Department encourages residents to take extra precautions to stay safe. The National Weather Service has issued a Heat Advisory through Sunday.

It takes our bodies awhile to adjust with the changing of the seasons. This is our first extreme heat event of the season and our bodies have not adjusted to high temperatures and high humidity. Anyone is at risk for heat related illnesses including heat exhaustion and heat stroke especially young children, older adults, individuals with chronic health conditions and anyone spending significant time outdoors.

“We look forward to the weekend so we can spend more time outdoors. But, the conditions this weekend could be dangerous. Please take extra precautions to stay safe,” said Rick Kozin, Director of Polk County Health Department.

With many outdoor events going on this weekend, individuals need take the following precautions to avoid heat related illnesses:

  • Be aware of the signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
  • Drink plenty of water. DO NOT wait until you are thirsty to drink. Avoid drinking alcoholic and caffeinated beverages as they dehydrate you.
  • Take frequent breaks in the shade or indoors. Spend at least two hours in air conditioning each day.
  • Try to avoid being outdoors in the hottest portion of the day: 11 AM to 4 PM.

Many public places such as malls, libraries and senior centers are air conditioned and are open to the public as daytime cooling centers.  Friday, June 10, 2016 the following businesses will have extended daytime cooling center hours:

  • Ankeny Main Fire Department – 120 NW Ash Drive, Ankeny, Iowa OPEN until 5 p.m. and Saturday noon – 5 p.m.
  • Elkhart City Hall – 260 NW Main, Elkhart, Iowa OPEN until 7 p.m.
  • Elkhart Christian Church – 252 NW Washington Avenue, Elkhart, Iowa OPEN until 7 p.m.
  • Eastside Community Center – 1231 E. 26th Street, Des Moines, Iowa OPEN 5 to 8 p.m.
  • Polk County Health Department – 1907 Carpenter Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa OPEN until 8 p.m.

For a full list of daytime cooling centers that are open, visit the Polk County Health Department’s website at /health/ or call 211.  During the Heat Advisory, DART will provide the public free rides to and from cooling centers. Paratransit-approved riders can also use DART’s paratransit services to reach the cooling centers. Schedule information is available online at www.ridedart.com or by calling the Customer Service Line (515) 283-8100 before 7 p.m. For calls after 7 p.m., please call (515) 283-8108.




Contact Us

Phone: (515)-286-3798
Fax: (515)-286-2033

Address: 1907, Carpenter Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50314