With Monmouth County under an excessive heat warning, two cooling centers are now open:
- Eatontown, Monmouth Mall, 180 Route 35 (on Routes 35/36), 732-542-0333
- Freehold Raceway Mall in Freehold, 3710 Route 9, 732-577-1144
New Jersey Health and Senior Services Commissioner Mary E. O'Dowd said the risk is especially high for the elderly and children.
"Hot, dry skin, an absence of sweat and a rapid and strong pulse are all signs of heat stroke," she said. "If you have elderly family members, friends or neighbors, be sure to check in on them to make sure they are keeping cool, especially if they live alone."
There are several basic steps people can take to ensure their safety during the hot weather, provided by Fuentes and O'Dowd:
- Stay indoors in air conditioning as much as possible.
- If you do go outside stay in the shade.
- If your home is not air conditioned, spend at least two hours daily at an air-conditioned mall, library or other public place.
- Wear sunscreen outside, along with loose-fitting, light-colored clothes that cover as much skin as possible
- Drink water regularly even if you are not thirsty. Limit alcohol and sugary drinks that speed dehydration.
- Never leave children or pets alone in the car.
- Avoid exertion during the hottest part of the day.
- Take a cool shower or bath.
- Be a good neighbor, check on elderly and people with disabilities in your community who may need assistance keeping cool.
For more information about cooling centers, dial 2-1-1 or visit the New Jersey 2-1-1 website.