UPDATE: 'Cool' Libraries Still Havens From Heat
Cooling centers at Bernards Township, Bernardsville libraries. Heat expected to break by Friday.
The sun may be scarcer than it was two days earlier, but an official heat advisory still is in place on Friday as the temperature 90 degrees with stifling humidity, according to an updated alert from Bernardsville Police Chief Kevin Valentine.
Bernardsville and Bernards Township Police had designated the libraries in those towns will be open as cooling centers, with the National Weather Service forecasting extreme heat conditions for the area over the next several days.
Valentine noted that the Bernardsville Library is open on Friday until 5 p.m. The Bernards Township Library also will remain open until that time.
Excessive heat was predicted for Wednesday, Thursday and to possibly linger into Friday, with maximum heat index values above 100 possible on the first two day, Bernards Township police announced on Wednesday. Thursday was expected to be the hottest day, with the National Weather Service saying showers and thunderstorms could follow some time on Friday.
However, many residents apparently found ways to cope. Bernards Township Lt. Mike Shimsky, Office of Emergency Management Coordinator, said not much extra patronage had been reported at the library.
For those who haven't (and even those who have) visited the Newark Museum, the Bernards Township Library on Thursday offered an opportunity for a dose of artistic enjoyment, coupled with a chance to escape the heat, at a free presentation scheduled for 7:30 p.m. that night.
Anne Swartz of the Savannah College of Arts and Design will return to the library to present another installment in her popular “Current Exhibits” series with this stunning visual lecture on the Newark Museum’s exhibit entitled Romare Bearden: Southern Recollections.
"Additionally, as a designated cooling center, the Bernards Township Library’s program room is the perfect place to cool off on a summer," the library's adult program director, Jacqueline Ridzy, said in an invitation to the public to enjoy the library's program during this week's hot days.
Here are some tips on staying cool and safe during extreme heat, as issued by police:
- Be familiar with your local weather forecast by visiting www.weather.gov or mobile.weather.gov.
- Cover windows that receive morning or afternoon sun with drapes, shades, awnings, or louvers.
- Eat well-balanced, light, and regular meals. Avoid using salt tablets unless directed to do so by a physician.
- Drink plenty of water and limit intake of alcoholic beverages.
- Check on family, friends, and neighbors who do not have air conditioning and who spend much of their time alone. Never leave children or pets alone in closed vehicles.
- Avoid strenuous work during the warmest part of the day. Use a buddy system when working in extreme heat, and take frequent breaks.
- For more information on how to stay cool, visit www.fema.gov or www.ready.gov.
Bernards residents may visit the temporary cooling center designated at the Bernards Township Library. The township library is open Monday to Thursday 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. and on Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Residents suffering from heat related issues are also encouraged to visit and spend time at public establishments equipped with air conditioning such as the mall, movies, or other cooler public spots, such as coffee shops.
In response to the excessive heat over the next few days, the Bernardsville Office of Emergency Management also has opened a public Cooling Center at the Bernardsville Public Library, 1 Anderson Hill Road, Bernardsville.
The Bernardsville Cooling Center will be coordinated by Karen Brodsky and staffed by library employees who are trained members of the Bernardsville OEM Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). The Cooling Center will be open this week from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
Later on Wednesday, the Somerset County Freeholders and Office on Aging offically extended an invitation to the older residents in the public to visit county senior centers throughout Somerset County.
The Senior Wellness Center on Mount Airy Road in Basking Ridge is open to residents from throughout the Somerset Hills area from about 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. each weekday.
Local residents in need of relief from the heat are encouraged to utilize the Cooling Center for refuge as needed, Bernardsville police said. Any residents with special needs or requiring special assistance during this heat advisory are requested to contact the Bernardsville Police Department for assistance as needed. If an emergency should occur, call 911 immediately.
Extended heat waves can produce high demands on public utility services that can sometimes result in power outages and other service disruption, Bernardsville police pointed out. Residents are asked to prepare in advance for such an event. Guidance in preparing for heat emergencies is available on the web at http://www.ready.gov/heat and http://www.ready.gov/blackouts and at www.Bernardsvillepd.org or can be picked up at the Bernardsville Library on Anderson Road or at the Bernardsville Police Department at 166 Minebrook Road.
Bernardsville police pointed to a heat advisory issued by the National Weather Service which says a strengthening area of high pressure will build in the region on Wednesday and Thursday, bringing in a very high air mass.
"The combination of the heat and humidity will result in dangerous conditions during the afternoon and early evening hours." Relief was expected later on Friday or Saturday.
Further information from Bernardsville police is available by calling borough police at 908-766-0037. Police Chief Kevin Valentine is OEM coordinator for Bernardsville.