Police in Bernards Township and Bernardsville are again pointing to their respective communities' libraries as potential "cooling centers" as very hot weather is expected to return to the region on Friday, Saturday and possibly into Sunday.
The National Weather Service predicted a chance of showers and thunderstorms could hit the area on Friday morning, but much of the day was expected to be mostly sunny and hot, with a high near 97.
Saturday has a prediction of mostly sunny, with a high near 95.
Sunday may also reach close to that temperature again, although there may be possible showers and thunderstorms on that day, the National Weather Service predicted.
Bernards residents are encouraged to visit the temporary cooling center designated at the Bernards Township Library. The library is open Monday through Thursday 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.; on Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m.
Those who are suffering, or wish to avoid, heat-related issues are also encouraged to visit and spend time at public establishments equipped with air conditioning such as the mall, movies, coffee shops and other cooled-down spots.
The Senior Wellness Center on Mount Airy Road will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. to welcome seniors from throughout the Somerset Hills area, according to Somerset County.
Bernardsville library again a cooling center
The Bernardsville Public Library at 1 Anderson Hill Road will again be open as a cooling center Friday and Saturday, and will be staffed by the borough Office of Emergency CERT members and library staff as needed, said Bernardsville Police Chief Kevin Valentine. Bernardsville librarian Karen Brodsky is coordinating for the effort again, as was done during recent very hot days.
The center will be operational during regular library hours which should be sufficient, Valentine said, but he added he will monitor the situation with regards to power outages, higher temps, special needs or circumstances and the weather forecast to determine action needed for Sunday, when the library is normally open. The library's usual hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, but closed on Sundays in July and August.
Valentine said the library may be open on Sunday in the event of power outages in the town, extremely high temperatures, and electricity remaining at the library. In that case, the library's community room may be open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., the chief said.
Bernards Police issued some other tips on staying cool and safe during extreme heat:
• 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.