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News Release    

July 6, 2010      

For Further Information Contact:
William R. Steinhaus, County Executive
(845) 486-2000

Dutchess County to Open Cooling Centers

Poughkeepsie… In response to the excessive heat advisories posted for the area for today and Wednesday, Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus has announced Dutchess County will be opening four “cooling centers” to the public.   The centers will be located in the City of Poughkeepsie, the City of Beacon, the Town of Pawling and the Hamlet of Wassaic.   Cooling centers will be open from 2pm until 9pm today and 9am to 9pm on Wednesday, July 7th.   Each center will be staffed by a Dutchess County medical professionals and a Site Coordinator.   Light food and cold drinks will be available.  Dutchess County Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) volunteers will also be assisting with the cooling center operations.   

County Executive Steinhaus said, “These shelters will be open to anyone who is without air conditioning, but I especially encourage those at the highest risk, including senior citizens, those with breathing problems or other chronic illnesses, and families with very young children to take advantage of the cooling center nearest them.”

Dutchess County Government will be operating cooling centers at the following locations:

City of Poughkeepsie
Salvation Army
19 Pershing Avenue
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601

City of Beacon
Dutchess County Community Action Agency
554 Main Street
Beacon, NY 12508

Town of Pawling
Senior Center
156 Charles Coleman Blvd
Pawling, NY 12564

Hamlet of Wassaic
Wassaic Firehouse
27 Firehouse Road
Wassaic, NY 12592

Additionally, some local municipalities are encouraging residents to utilize town and village halls and other local locations to get some respite from the daytime heat.




Village of Fishkill

Van Wyck Village Hall   
1095 Main Street, Fishkill    
Today until 9pm
Wed 7/7 from 8am to 9pm
Town of Wappinger   Wappinger Town Hall    
20 Middlebush Road, Wappinger  
Today until 4pm
Wed 7/7 from 8:30am to 4pm
Town of Beekman  Beekman Community Center
31 Recreation Center Road, Beekman  
Today until 4:30pm 
Wed 7/7 and Thurs 7/8
from 8am to 4:30pm
Town of Pine Plains    
Heart of Pine Plains (HOPP) Community Center
775 South Street,  Pine Plains, NY 12567
Wed 7/7 from 11am to 6pm 
Village of Rhinebeck  Rhinebeck High School
34 North Road, Rhinebeck, NY 12572     
Today until 8pm
Wed 7/7 from 10am to 8pm

Cooling center information and updates will be available at or residents can call 211 or Dutchess County’s HELPLINE at 485-9700.

Important Heat Safety Tips

Child Safety Tips

  • Check to make sure seating surfaces and equipment (child safety seat and safety belt buckles) aren't too hot when securing your child in a safety restraint system in a car that has been parked in the heat. 

  • Never leave your child unattended in a vehicle, even with the windows down. 

  • Teach children not to play in, on, or around cars. 

  • Always lock car doors and trunks -- even at home -- and keep keys out of children's reach. 

  • Always make sure all child passengers have left the car when you reach your destination. Don't overlook sleeping infants.
Adult Heat Wave Safety Tips
  • Slow down. Strenuous activities should be reduced, eliminated, or rescheduled to the coolest time of the day. Individuals at risk should stay in the coolest available place, not necessarily indoors. 

  • Dress for summer. Lightweight light-colored clothing reflects heat and sunlight, and helps your body maintain normal temperatures. 

  • Put less fuel on your inner fires. Foods (like proteins) that increase metabolic heat production also increase water loss. 

  • Drink plenty of water or other non-alcohol fluids. Your body needs water to keep cool. Drink plenty of fluids even if you don't feel thirsty. Persons who (1) have epilepsy or heart, kidney, or liver disease, (2) are on fluid restrictive diets or (3) have a problem with fluid retention should consult a physician before increasing their consumption of fluids. Do not drink alcoholic beverages.

  • Spend more time in air-conditioned places. Air conditioning in homes and other buildings markedly reduces danger from the heat. If you cannot afford an air conditioner, spending some time each day (during hot weather) in an air conditioned environment affords some protection. 

  • Don't get too much sun. Sunburn makes the job of heat dissipation that much more difficult 

  • Do not take salt tablets unless specified by a physician.

Pet Safety in Warm Weather

  • It is important to protect pets and consider their comfort and safety. A rule of thumb should be, “if it is too hot for me, it’s too hot for my pet”.

  • Dogs and cats don’t sweat so they don’t have an efficient way to cool down! They need your help! 

  • Water - Pets should have a cool fresh water supply. So check and change their water often and on really warm days add a few ice cubes. 

  • Shelter - Pets left outside should have shade and fresh cool water within reach. New York State Law states all dogs kept outdoors that cannot immediately run back inside an insulated permanent structure are required to have dog houses. If you have any questions as to if your dog house meets the standards or if your dog needs a dog house, contact the Dutchess County SPCA Humane Law Department at 845-452-7722 Ext. 3. All pets need access to shade whether natural or artificial. On very warm days bring your pet inside. 

  • Exercise your pet during the cooler hours of the day – morning and evening. Keep them hydrated and watch for heat stress. 

  • Paw Problems - Can occur from hot pavement, sticky tar or gravel. Never use kerosene or turpentine to remove tar from pets. Chemicals can irritate the skin and can be toxic. Check with your vet as to the proper treatment of removing tar or any other foreign substance. 

  • Hiking - Requires extra preventions to protect your pet. Create an emergency kit for your pet. Ask your vet what you should include or buy a kit at a pet supply store. Bring extra water supply and water you pet frequently. Be aware of signs of heat stress and exhaustion. Check the following site for more info on hiking:

  • Car Safety Issue - NEVER LEAVE YOUR PET UNATTENDED IN A PARKED CAR! Temperatures can reach over 120 degrees in minutes. Parking in the shade even with the windows open can be dangerous and your pet can die within minutes. Don’t let your pets ride with their heads out the window or in the back of a pickup. They can be hit by flying debris or be thrown or jump out of your truck.


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