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IT'S HOT! Seminole officials concerned about high heat in early summer

National Weather Service of Melbourne

Seminole County emergency shelters are on standby as temperatures are expected to heat up into health-hazardous territory.

The county enacted such plans twice last year, and once the year before, but this is the earliest it's had to do so in quite some time, said Alan Harris, the Seminole County emergency manager.

"It is concerning," he said. "I hope that this is not an indication, although it does appear that we're getting hotter faster and earlier. But I hope it's not an indication that we're going to be in this type of situation regularly. But we are trying to prepare for that just in case."

The Outlook

The National Weather Service in Melbourne released a hazardous weather outlook Tuesday indicating humidity could produce a heat index of 102 to 107 degrees in the afternoons.

The NWS alerted Central Florida county emergency managers that the heat index could rise to as high as 110 degrees.

"For those outdoors, drink plenty of water, take breaks in the shade, and if you feel unwell, seek air conditioning," the NWS stated.

Heat-related illness

According to theCenters for Disease Control and Prevention, heat-related illnesses occur when the body is unable to use its temperature-control system. Long exposure to extreme heat and a lack of fluids can lead to heat exhaustion — when the body feels weakness, over-sweating, headaches, nausea, and vomiting — or heat stroke — when the body is unable to produce sweat and its temperature swells to 106 degrees in 10 to 15 minutes. Heat stroke can cause death or permanent disability.

Looking to beat the heat in Central Florida?

From now and through the weekend, Seminole County has opened cooling stations at its libraries and some of its parks that A.C. cooled buildings. Visitors can come inside for food and water if they're feeling unwell.

"They can stay as long as they need to get out of the elements and get cooled off," Harris said.

Seminole also has emergency shelters in place in the event that there is a congregate senior living facility assisted living facility, or nursing home loses power or loses air conditioning, Harris said.

Volusia County is also taking heed of the heat and establishing safety options for those traversing the outdoors. The county has cooling stations in place at its 14 library branches. Those locations can be found here.

Orange County doesn't have any cooling stations or shelters in place but said the public was free to come into any of its community centers to escape the heat. Orange County also said it the Homeless Services Network of Central Florida is working with local non-profit organizations to provide cooling places.

Osceola, Brevard, and Lake counties also do not have any designated cooled places of refuge.

Originally from South Florida, Joe Mario came to Orlando to attend the University of Central Florida where he graduated with degrees in Radio & Television Production, Film, and Psychology. He worked several beats and covered multimedia at The Villages Daily Sun but returned to the City Beautiful as a reporter for the Orlando Sentinel where he covered crime, hurricanes, and viral news. Joe Mario has too many interests and not enough time but tries to focus on his love for strange stories in comic books and horror movies. When he's not writing he loves to run in his spare time.
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