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Springfield Cooling Centers Are For Everyone

The National Weather Service has issued another heat advisory for Springfield, and once again, local cooling centers are ready and willing to let everyone enjoy their air conditioning. KSMU’s Chasity Mayes tells us how cooling centers aren’t just for the less fortunate.

Cooling centers are ideal for the homeless or even those who can’t afford an air conditioner, but there are several other reasons someone might stop in to cool off.

“A cooling center is beneficial to any and all of us really who need a break.”

Jeff Smith is the social services director for the Salvation Army. He says it’s not just the less fortunate who are stopping in, and it shouldn’t be.

“We’ve had people who actually walk to work who’ve come in and taken a break in the past. So, the cooling center can serve a wide variety of people,” says Smith.

There are many reasons why someone might want to take advantage of a cooling center. The Springfield-Greene County Health Department recommends avoiding strenuous work and exercise during high heat, but if you are taking a jog downtown, they say it’s important to drink plenty of water and take frequent breaks. The downtown YMCA on Jefferson Avenue as well as the south side YMCA on Republic Road are open as cooling centers.You can also stop by the American Red Cross on West Bypass to get out of the heat.

The Salvation Army’s cooling centers are open 24 hours a day anytime there’s an excessive heat warning issued by the National Weather Service.

As always, the elderly and children need special attention during hot weather. Checking on elderly neighbors to make sure they’re drinking water and not overheating can save a life.

For KSMU News, I’m Chasity Mayes.