Caution urged as temperature climbs in St. Louis -


Caution urged as temperature climbs in St. Louis

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ST. LOUIS (AP/KMOV) -- With St. Louis under a heat advisory through Thursday evening, city health officials are urging residents to be careful outside.

Forecasts are calling for highs in the 90s and high humidity over the next several days, increasing the risk of heat-related stress and illness. The St. Louis Health Department urges residents to limit or stop outdoor activity and try to stay in a cool environment. Those with elderly relatives, neighbors or friends are urged to check on them and encourage them to use air conditioning.

Temperatures inside a closed car can be lethal in minutes. Brick homes of St. Louis retain the heat and have been compared to giant ovens.  

City leaders say several cooling sites are available throughout the region.

Pet owners are encouraged to take extra precautions, including keeping animals out of unattended vehicles. Animals should also have access to fresh water and shade.

The United Way of Greater St. Louis has a free call center that is taking calls from people needing help. Health officials say it is important to note that medications can sometimes alter your body's ability to handle the heat. 

Some people are not sure if they are able to pay their electric bills so they will not turn on an air conditioner. The United Way says help is available. The number to call is 211. The call center is free and is open 24/7. 

Links to find help:

Salvation Army

United Way

Cool Down St. Louis

City of St. Louis Health Department

If you are able to help those in need, Cool Down St. Louis says they are accepting donations of new or gently used room air conditioners. The air conditioners can be dropped off at any of the four Vatterott campuses in the St. Louis area. 

Since 2010, Cool Down St. Louis has provided 1,200 air conditioners to the community. But one problem they are facing is people who are afraid of high utility bills will not turn them on; often not realizing how dangerous the heat can be. 

Reverend Earl Nance with Cool Down St. Louis said, "They feel they can handle it [the heat] and next thing you know they're out of it. We want people to be healthy to be safe."

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