Columbia cooling centers provide relief from heat

Tuesday, June 7, 2011 | 4:08 p.m. CDT; updated 12:21 p.m. CDT, Thursday, July 28, 2011

COLUMBIA — Although summer doesn't officially start until the end of June, sweltering temperatures are already bringing risks for heat-related illnesses.

The Salvation Army is an oasis during times of harsh heat, said Maj. K. Kendall Mathews, regional coordinator of the Salvation Army in Columbia.


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"We want to be in a position to help people escape this hot weather," Mathews said. "We are serving ice water and cold drinks and giving people temporary escape in life-threatening heat."

Columbia’s Public Health and Human Services Department offers a few tips to avoid heat-related illnesses:

  • Dress for the heat. Wear a hat, or use an umbrella to block the sun.
  • Drink water and avoid alcoholic beverages and caffeine.
  • Eat small meals, and eat more often.
  • Stay indoors with air-conditioning when possible.
  • Take regular breaks when physically active.

Cooling centers are open to the public during business hours and provide air-conditioning, access to restrooms and sometimes drinking water. Centers do not provide medical relief or a place to sleep overnight.

Here is a list of cooling centers throughout Columbia.

Activities and Recreation Center (ARC)

1707 W. Ash St.

Hours: 5 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Monday through Friday; 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday; 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday

Armory Sports and Columbia Community Center

701 E. Ash St.

Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday

Columbia Public Library

100 W. Broadway

Hours: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday; 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday

Missouri United Methodist Church

204 S. Ninth St.

Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday; 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. This location is sometimes open until 9 p.m., but it varies.

Oakland Senior Center

805 Old 63 N.

Hours: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday

Public Health and Human Services Department

1005 W. Worley St.

Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday

Salvation Army

1108 W. Ash St.

Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day. This location is also open when the temperature is 90 degrees or higher.

Salvation Army Harbor House

602 N. Ann St.

Hours: No specific time, just during the heat of the day.

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