AKRON, Ohio — With temperatures across Northeast Ohio expected to drop significantly over the next couple of days, communities are preparing to open warming centers and offering tips to help residents deal with the extreme cold.
The city of Akron will extend hours in four community centers from 8:30 a.m. until 10 p.m. to provide warming centers for those in need. The extended hours will begin Friday and end Sunday before starting up again Jan. 25 through Jan. 29.
The temporary rules apply to the following locations:
- Lawton Street Community Center, 1225 Lawton St. ((330) 375-2825)
- Mason Park Community Center, 800 E Exchange St. ((330) 375-2821)
- Patterson Park Community Center, 800 Patterson Ave. ((330) 375-2819)
- Summit Lake Community Center, 380 W Crosier Street ((330) 375-2826)
COVID-19 precautions will betaken to ensure the safety of visitors and employees. The provisions include:
- Limited attendance based on maximum occupancy of the facility rooms
- Family groups being kept together
- Social distancing of at least six feet between individuals in all areas of the facility
- Face coverings are required while in the facility
- Visitor with high temperatures or signs of illness will immediately be referred to an EMT for off-site medical attention
- Hand sanitizer will be available throughout the facility including at entrances and exit areas
- Community center spaces will be cleaned and sanitized
In addition, the Emergency Overnight Shelter located at 111 E Voris St. will be open Friday through Wednesday from 7 p.m.-8 a.m. The shelter is a community partnership between the Peter Maurin Center, Summit County Continuum of Care, and Community Support Services and provides food, shelter, and clothing.
Over in Canton, the Edward "Peel" Coleman Community Center on Sherrick Road Southeast will be available as a warming beginning Friday evening through Monday morning from 6 p.m.-8 a.m. each day, and Refuge of Hope Ministries on 2nd Street Northeast will be open during the following times:
- Friday, Noon-6 p.m.
- Saturday, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
- Sunday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
SARTA will also provide free transportation to Coleman on Route 110 via the Cornerstone Transit Center.
Meanwhile, the Cuyahoga County Office of Emergency Management is providing these tips for people dealing with the cold:
- If you must go outside, wear several layers of loose fitting, lightweight, warm clothing rather than one layer of heavy clothing. Outer garments should be tightly woven and water repellant. Always wear a hat and cover your mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs.
- Watch for signs of frostbite. These include loss of feeling and white or pale appearance in extremities such as fingers, toes, ears and the tip of the nose. If symptoms are present, get medical help immediately.
- Watch for signs of hypothermia. These include uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, slurred speech, drowsiness, and apparent exhaustion. If symptoms of hypothermia are detected, get the victim to a warm location, remove wet clothing, warm the center of the body first, and give warm, non-alcoholic beverages if the victim is conscious. Get medical help as soon as possible.