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Las Cruces Activates Cooling Stations, Issues Heat Warning

Jun 10, 2021

  With the National Weather Service forecasting near triple-digit temperatures for Las Cruces through Tuesday, June 15, 2021, the City of Las Cruces has activated many facilities as cooling stations.

A cooling station is a place that offers temporary shelter from the heat for the elderly, other high-risk residents, and the general public. To confirm that a cooling station is open, residents are encouraged to call beforehand.


The following cooling stations will be 10 AM to 5 p.m. weekdays:  

  • Frank O’Brien Papen Community Center, 304 W. Bell Ave. (575/528-2455)
  • Henry R. Benavidez Community Center,1045 McClure Road (575/541-2006)
  • Meerscheidt Recreation Center, 1600 E. Hadley Ave. (575/541-2563)
  • Munson Center, 975 S. Mesquite St. (575/528-3000)
  • Sage Café, 6121 Reynolds Drive (575/528-3151)
  • Thomas Branigan Memorial Library,  200 E. Picacho Ave. (575/528-4000)

Weekend cooling stations will be open 1 – 6 PM.

  • Thomas Branigan Memorial Library, 200 E. Picacho Ave. (575/528-4000)
  • Meerscheidt Recreation Center, 1600 E. Hadley Ave. (575/541-2563)

Las Cruces residents should keep in mind they may need to adjust their plans based on the latest health and safety guidelines from Centers for Disease Control. Residents are encouraged to reach seek out cooling shelters that may be available.

Residents are also reminded to drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air-conditioned room, stay out of the sun, and check on relatives and neighbors. They should also take extra precautions if they are planning to work or spend time outside during the coming week. When possible, strenuous activities should be rescheduled to early morning or evening hours. 

They are also urged to know the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Heat exhaustion symptoms include: Headaches, dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting; weakness and moist skin; irritability or confusion; and an upset stomach. Heat stroke symptoms include dry, hot skin with no sweating; mental confusion or loss of consciousness; and seizures or convulsions. Heat stroke is an emergency and residents should call 911 if anyone is experiencing those symptoms. 

People at a higher risk of heat-related illness include: infants and young children; older adults; people with disabilities; anyone with chronic heart or lung problems; overweight persons; those who work outdoors or in hot settings; users of some medications, especially some drugs for mental disorders, movement disorders, allergies, depression, and heart and circulatory problems; and isolated persons who won’t know when or how to cool off or call for help. 

Wear lightweight and loose-fitting clothing when possible. To reduce risk during outdoor work, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommends scheduling frequent rest breaks in shaded or air-conditioned environments. Anyone overcome by heat should be moved to a cool and shaded location.  

High Temperatures Hazardous for Children, Pets
 
The Las Cruces Police Department reminds motorists that high temperatures – daytime and evening temperatures – can cause death or serious injury to children and pets left in an enclosed vehicle.
 
Research shows that the interior temperature of an enclosed vehicle can rise at least 19 degrees Fahrenheit after only 10 minutes in the sun, 34 degrees after 30 minutes, and 45-50 degrees in about one hour. The rapidly increasing interior temperature of a vehicle can cause injury to people and pets, even when outdoor daytime temperatures are in the 80s or low 90s.
 
Studies show the practice of leaving a vehicle window partially open, or “cracked” as it is often called, does little or no good in decreasing the interior temperature. And days that are overcast offer shade but little help in keeping a vehicle cool enough for pets of children.
 
People can be critically injured or killed when the core body temperature reaches 104 F. A body temperature of 107 F is considered to be lethal. The Las Cruces Police Department offers these safety tips.

  • Do not leave pets or people (sleeping babies, children, elderly) in a vehicle – even with the windows “cracked” or down.
  • Place a purse or wallet in the back seat as a reminder that your child is in the car.
  • Do not leave pets in the bed of a pickup as surface temperatures can rise quickly.
  • Don’t let breezes, windy weather or cloudy days fool you. The lack of circulation inside an enclosed vehicle on a warm day, even after sunset, can be deadly.
  • Avoid leaving your vehicle running and unattended simply to keep the air conditioning on, such as to run into a convenience store. The vehicle could be stolen in seconds.
  • Avoid overexertion of dogs like walking/jogging them during the heat of the day. Remember that sidewalks and pavement retain heat even after the sun goes down.
  • Provide proper shade and ventilation, and fresh water daily for pets.
  • Always lock your car when unattended and teach children that vehicles are never to be used as play areas.
  • Check on neighbors and the elderly to ensure they have adequate circulation and cool air in their home.
  • Call 911 immediately if you see a person or pet left unattended in an enclosed vehicle or if they are otherwise suffering from excessive heat.
  • Seek immediate medical attention for people or pets who are suffering from excessive heat.