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7/8/2010 - Seniors Urged to Use Cooling Centers

Cumberland County officials are encouraging seniors to take advantage of cooling centers open across the county during the dangerously hot weather.

The Office on Aging and Disabled has organized 17 public facilities throughout Cumberland County and made them available to seniors to escape the oppressive heat.  They include libraries, senior centers and other gathering spots.

Dale Finch, Executive Director of the Office on Aging & Disabled says, “the cooling centers offer a safe, healthy and comfortable environment for seniors to spend the warmest part of the day.” 

Depending on the location, the centers provide a place to read, watch television and participate in organized activities.  There is also access to bottled water and some refreshments. 

The county has been under heat alert conditions much of this week, and despite some relief this weekend, temperatures are expected to top 90 degrees much of next week.  Heat alert conditions are defined as two days in a row with above 90 degree temperatures, or a heat index topping 100.

“The cooling centers are an important part of protecting our seniors during the dangerous summer weather,” says Freeholder James Dunkins, Chairman of the Department of Health.  “We have also distributed some 100 fans and have asked Meals on Wheels staff to look for dangerous conditions in their clients’ homes.”

“Family members and neighbors should also look in on elderly loved ones and friends,” says Freeholder Jane Jannarone, liaison to the Office on Aging Advisory Council.  

Transportation to the cooling centers can be accessed between 9am and 4pm by calling the Cumberland Area Transit System (CATS) at 856-691-7799.