Nigel Holderby, spokesperson for the southern Missouri region of the Red Cross, says anyone can drop in at one of the six offices of the region to relax with a cold bottle of water.
Offices are available as cooling centers during normal business hours. Chapter sites include Joplin, Nevada, Springfield, West Plains, Van Buren and Cape Girardeau.
The elderly and very young are most susceptible to heat and heat-related illness, which can cause serious injury and even death if left untreated.
Holderby encourages everyone to check on elderly neighbors during the intense heat.
She says you should stay hydrated by drinking plenty of non-caffeinated and non-alcoholic beverages; avoid extreme temperature changes, wear loose-fitting, light-colored clothing; avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day; take frequent breaks if working outdoors and check on animals frequently and make sure they have plenty of water.
Symptoms of heat exhaustion include cool, moist, pale or flushed skin, heavy sweating, headache, nausea, dizziness and weakness.
Symptoms of heat stroke, which can be life threatening, include hot, red skin which may be dry or moist, changes in consciousness, vomiting and high body temperature.
For more information about staying safe in the heat, visit redcross.org.