County Executive David Crowley
Press Release

With Summer Here, Milwaukee County Officials Encourage Residents to Take Precautions During Hot Weather

With people isolating because of COVID-19, it’s more important than ever to check on vulnerable residents

By - Jun 29th, 2020 08:41 am

Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley, along with the Office of Emergency Management (OEM), Department on Aging, Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) and other County departments, are reminding residents about County services during the summer months and providing residents with tips to avoid emergencies during heat and extreme weather.

Summer is officially here. As the weather continues to heat up, it’s as important as ever this year to check on neighbors, friends and family who may be isolating because of the COVID-19 crisis. Adults over 65, children under four, and those with existing medical conditions, are most at risk for heat-related illness and even death.

“Staying cool in extreme heat during the summer months can be difficult,” Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley said. “During this already challenging time, we want to ensure our most vulnerable residents, who may already be isolated from friends and family because of COVID-19, have people checking on them and the resources they need to stay safe this summer.”

The Milwaukee County Department on Aging (MCDA) has adapted its services to ensure the health and safety of older adults. The Senior Dining Program has transitioned to a carryout and delivery model, while Meals on Wheels has continued without interruption. Our partners are delivering groceries and meals, and providing rides to essential healthcare appointments, as well as making wellness calls. The Aging Resource Center staff have modified their procedures to continue doing client visits and Long-Term Care Functional Screenings remotely. Older adults looking for information and resources during hot weather should contact the Milwaukee County Aging Resource Center at 414.289.6874 for assistance. For more information on senior centers and resources, visit: county.milwaukee.gov/aging.

“Throughout the pandemic, we have continued to provide a high level of service to the County’s older residents. We’ve adapted our service delivery to follow the guidance of the CDC, maintain services, and ensure everyone’s safety,” said Shakita LaGrant-McClain, Interim Director, Milwaukee County Department on Aging. “Most importantly, we want people to know help is available if anyone needs assistance when the temperature spikes this summer.”

Milwaukee County works with the National Weather Service and all local health departments to monitor the weather on an ongoing basis, and continues to implement, coordinate and improve plans to adapt to changing conditions to keep residents safe during the summer season. Milwaukee County officials from OEM, DHHS, MCTS, Aging, Parks, and the Medical Examiner are part of the Milwaukee Heat Task Force, which coordinates agencies throughout the community and develops strategies to protect citizens during times of extreme heat.

Some Milwaukee County parks and beaches will be open this summer. For a complete list of hours and locations, visit: https://mkecoparks.helpscoutdocs.com/article/338-coronavirus-response.

All MCTS buses are air-conditioned and can serve as cooling centers during the extreme temperatures. Bus fare is $2.25 cash for adults, or $2.00 using the M-Card or Ride MCTS app. For more information, visit: https://www.ridemcts.com/fares-passes/fare-information.

In the event a resident in Milwaukee County has had a utility disconnect, needs a furnace repair/replacement, or support in paying their utility bill , contact Milwaukee County Energy Assistance at KeepWarmMKE.org or 414.270.4-MKE (4653). Energy Assistance hours of operation from July 1 to August 31: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday from 8:00AM to 7:00PM, Wednesday and Friday 8:00AM to 5:00PM, and Saturday 8:00AM to 12:00PM, and after hours call Impact 2-1-1.

Milwaukee County urges residents to prepare for hot temperatures throughout the summer.
Additional precautions to stay safe and cool during the heat wave include:

• Avoid unnecessary trips outside. If it is necessary to go outside, apply sunscreen generously and wear lightweight, loose fitting clothing.
• Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol.
• Check on your family members and neighbors who do not have air conditioning, who spend much of their time alone or who are more likely to be affected by the heat.
• If you or someone you know is experiencing dizziness, headache, muscle cramps, weakness, and nausea or vomiting, it is important to cool down, get in the shade or indoors, and drink water or juice. If the symptoms escalate to include hot/dry skin, confusion, unconsciousness, chest pain or shortness of breath, call 911.
• It is NEVER safe to leave a toddler, disabled person or pet locked in a car.
• Don’t leave pets outdoors. Most dogs, and all cats, are safer indoors, except when taken out for exercise.

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