Mayor Fischer, city leaders urge caution during extreme heat 

June 13, 2022

Mayor Greg Fischer and Louisville Metro Government (LMG) heath and public safety leaders are urging residents to protect themselves from heat-related illness and reminds them of public resources available through the city and partners.

The National Weather Service forecasts temperatures well into the 90s and high humidity, which means heat index values will exceed 100 degrees. Most heat-related illnesses involve the elderly or individuals who have chronic illnesses, but also at risk are children, athletes, and outdoor workers.

“Extreme heat can be deadly and we’re urging everyone to take this advisory seriously,” Mayor Fischer said. “That means looking out for ourselves to avoid heat exhaustion, and looking out for others as well. I’m thankful to our Metro team and partners for springing into action, as they always do, to demonstrate what compassion is all about.”

City cooling resources include:

Cooling centers

Eight Neighborhood Place locations throughout Louisville will be serving as cooling relief centers for those needing to get out of the heat. To find the nearest location, call Metro311 or 574-5000 or visit http://www.louisvilleky.gov/NeighborhoodPlace/

Louisville Metro Senior Nutrition program congregate sites operate 14 senior congregate sites for seniors 60 and older which provide a nutritious lunchtime meal and activities at air-conditioned facilities. Visit https://louisvilleky.gov/government/resilience-and-community-services for a listing of sites, hours and phone numbers to reserve a lunch. 

Louisville Free Public Library’s 17 branches are open and operating at regular hours for people who need respite from the heat. Find a branch here: https://www.lfpl.org/branches/index.htm

White Flag

The Coalition for the Homeless coordinates the Operation White Flag program to ensure that individuals experiencing houselessness can find shelter during severe weather. Operation White Flag goes into effect when the temperature or heat index is 95 degrees or higher. A white flag flies outside each participating shelter to show that Operation White Flag is in effect. All persons needing shelter can stay at the participating Operation White Flag shelter while weather conditions persist.

  • Wayside Christian Mission (accepts cats and dogs), 432 E. Jefferson St.
  • Vincent de Paul (for men only), 1034 S. Jackson St.
  • Salvation Army Center (day shelter only), 911 S. Brook St.

Day Shelter space is available at the Salvation Army and Wayside Christian Mission, as well as shelters dedicated for men, women and youth. Visit https://louisvilleky.gov/government/resilience-and-community-services for a full listing. Representatives of multiple organizations visit encampments regularly to provide connections to shelter, medical care and social services.

When Operation White Flag is in effect, TARC waves fare for those individuals who need transportation to one of the participating shelters. The passenger should alert the driver when boarding and can ride to the nearest shelter fare-free. 

Pet safety

Louisville Metro Animal Services asks residents to limit outdoor time for pets. Residents are urged to call 9-1-1 if they see animals left in parked vehicles. When animals are outdoors, people are asked to provide shade and plenty of water.

Heat safety

Residents are urged to each take personal steps to reduce their risk of heat-related illness.

"We ask everyone to take precautions to avoid heat exhaustion, and to check on their family, friends and neighbors who may be especially vulnerable to extreme heat," said Dr. Jeff Howard, interim director and medical director. "Infants, young children, older adults, and people with chronic disease have a tougher time regulating their body temperature. Please help them stay cool and hydrated." 

Risks associated with a heat wave include:

  • Heat cramps - this includes muscular pains and spasms resulting from heavy exertion. These symptoms are often the first signal that the body is suffering from excessive heat.
  • Heat exhaustion - this includes fainting, rash, fatigue, and nausea. Skin may become clammy and moist.
  • Heat/sun stroke symptoms - include hot, dry skin, the absence of sweat, nausea, confusion, and unconsciousness. This is a life-threatening condition. Seek medical care immediately.

To prevent risks from excessive heat, individuals should do the following: 

  • Seek air-conditioning: If your home does not have air-conditioning, seek areas that do-such as libraries, shopping malls, community/senior centers, grocery stores, movie theatres during the warmest period of the day. If you must stay in a home without air-conditioning, stay on the lowest floor out of the sunshine.
  • Avoid strenuous activities: This is particularly true during the hottest time of the day. Individuals who perform strenuous work during the heat of the day are especially at risk.
  • Wear light-weight, light-colored clothing: Light colors reflect the sun’s rays better than dark colors, which absorb the heat. Protect the face and head with a wide-brimmed hat.
  • Check on family members, neighbors and friends who are vulnerable. Move them to air-conditioned places if possible.
  • Drink plenty of fluids: Increase fluid intake even if you are not thirsty.
  • Never leave pets or people, especially children and infants, unattended in cars during a heat wave.

If heat risks do occur, cool the body as soon as possible, and call 9-1-1 for symptoms of heat stroke. 

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