AUSTIN (KXAN) — If you think it was hot Friday, it’s about to get hotter Saturday and Sunday. We’re expecting record temperatures, and that’s why the City of Austin and Travis County are opening 16 cooling centers this weekend.
The cooling centers are spread over Travis County and they include public libraries, recreation centers, and other areas supported by the Austin Disaster Relief Network.
The locations will not be open overnight. KXAN’s Christopher Adams has created an interactive map, so if you hover or click on a location, you can see the hours that the cooling centers will be open.
The cooling centers come at a time when Austin-Travis County EMS is seeing an increase in heat-related calls.
Officials tell KXAN they’ve seen an uptick in heat related calls since Wednesday, but they were expecting that:
- Wednesday: 3 calls
- Thursday: 5 calls
- Friday: 9 calls, as of 6 p.m.
Responders say the treatment depends on the type of heat call. Crews work to make sure the person is hydrated, they remove them out of the environment and put them in an ice bath, depending on how serious the call is.
Dr. Scott Clitheroe, President of Travis County Medical Society, says water is key in this heat, and it is important to stay away from caffeine, but sports drinks can help.
“They do replace electrolytes, especially salt, and they still are mostly water. The powder ones are more concentrated and you can add to water, and if you have that capability, that’s great,” Dr. Clitheroe said.
Dark-colored urine is one sign of dehydration.
“If your urine is dark colored, concentrated yellow, then that’s a sign that most likely you’re dehydrated. And so lighter colored urine is a sign that you’re well hydrated,” Clitheroe explained. “Dizziness and if you’re actually unable to sweat, that’s actually a bad sign that you’re very dehydrated. And that means you definitely have to remedy that quickly.”
On Friday, lakes and rivers around Central Texas were packed. The sweltering heat will keep Kai Hughes and his family on the water for the next few days. Haley Adams is looking for any way to stay cool as most of us in the Austin area are under a heat advisory this weekend.
“Water is the necessary element to this heat,” Adams said.