No Cooling Centers? Improvise! - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

No Cooling Centers? Improvise!

Every county in the state has an Emergency Management Agency. (Source: Raycom Media) Every county in the state has an Emergency Management Agency. (Source: Raycom Media)

Every county in the state has an Emergency Management Agency. In Morgan County, the EMA will monitor weather events all year long. They have concerns not only during very cold weather but hot weather as well.  

While some counties have tornado shelters and warming centers, not all do.  

"We don't specifically have any cooling shelters inside of our county, anything that is actually designated a cooling center," said Morgan County Emergency Management Specialist Operations and Planning Chief Jacob Crowell. "What we do recommend people do is to go to public places, such as the mall or maybe like a public library.

Crowell said they advise people living in rural areas to check on people who live close to them. He said it's the way most people were brought up.  

"Or else just be a good neighbor and help our your elderly or others in need," added Crowell.

Decatur Mayor Don Kyle agreed.   

"It's more like treating your neighbors more like family," said Kyle. "And paying attention to them as much as anything."

Crowell said that's important because the weather can change very fast and when there is no shelter, people must depend on each other especially if someone has an outside job.   

"It can be very, very hot, extremely quick and people can come down with heat stroke," said Crowell.

He said to drink plenty of fluids, take breaks and try to get to a shaded area.

Many communities have senior centers like Turner-Surles in Decatur. It's a place where you don't have to be a senior to be able to beat the heat.

Kyle is proud of the center.

"We're real thrilled that our manager at Turner-Surles has been like a pied piper bringing people into that center every day eating meals, line dancing whatever but it is a cool place and it is a comfortable place," said Kyle.

Many communities, even in rural areas, have senior centers that can be turned into a cooling center.  

Kyle said there is another one in the River City.  

"We've got the other center over on Memorial Drive that is open during the week also," added Kyle. "Either of the centers would be available to any citizen."

And even without a designated shelter, people can often find a cool place to beat the heat.

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