With heat index values soaring into the triple-digits the rest of this week, there are places available in Waterloo and Cedar Falls where people can go for comfort.

Through a cooperative effort with the Black Hawk County Health Department, relief centers providing free water are available at the following locations through Saturday (July 23, 2016):

WATERLOO

  • Salvation Army-Main Center / 89 Franklin St.: 9 a.m. - 7 p.m.
  • Salvation Army-Thift Store / 415 E. 7th St.: 10 a.m .- 5 p.m.
  • YMCA / 669 S. Hackett Road: 5 a.m. - 9 p.m. Thu.-Fri.; 7 a.m. - 4 p.m. Sat.
  • Covenant Medical Center / Visitor Entrance off W. 9th St.
  • Salvation Army-Emergency Disaster Services Canteen / Various Locations: The mobile unit will circulate between Gates Park, Exchange Park, Lincoln Park, Lafayette Park and the RiverLoop Expo from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

CEDAR FALLS

  • Sartori Memorial Hospital / Front Entrance Lobby at 515 College St.

Black Hawk County health officials held a news conference on Thursday (July 21, 2016) with a focus on making sure everyone knows the dangers associated with the hot weather.

"The heat wave that is upon us now is the chief cause of environment or weather-induced mortality," Interim County Health Director Thomas O'Rourke said. "More people die from this than freezing or other ailments. It's not something that people can readily get used to. Caution needs to be taken, both in this cycle and in future cycles."

Thomas O'Rourke
Source: Black Hawk County Health Dept.

According to O'Rourke, the people most susceptible to heat-related illness are the elderly, children, and anyone who works outdoors. Symptoms to watch for are nausea, dizziness, irritability, headache, thirst, weakness, fainting, high body temperature, excessive sweating, pale skin, and dark or decreased urine output.

O'Rourke said anyone experiencing conditions associated with heat stroke should rest and try to find air-conditioning, drink plenty of fluid (avoid caffeine and alcohol), remove tight or unnecessary clothing, take a cool shower, or apply other cooling measures such as fans or ice towels.

The extremely hot weather that's gripping Iowa and other parts of the central U.S. is expected to continue into the weekend, with heat index values ranging from 105 to 115 degrees. An Excessive Heat Warning is posted for the state until 7 p.m. Saturday.