Cooling shelters to open Thursday

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - As we close in on triple-digit temperatures, people across the area will be looking for ways to stay cool.

It's certainly best to stay indoors if you can — out of the sun and heat — but some people don't have a place to do that, or air conditioning.

That's why the Southside Community Center near the intersection of Hull and Belt, and several other spots in Richmond, will transform into cooling shelters Thursday.

Start drinking water, more than you normally would, as soon as you get up this morning to help avoid any heat related illnesses like dehydration, heat exhaustion, or stroke.

Common symptoms are heavy sweating, nausea and a fast heartbeat — seek help if you need to.

Here's the list of cooling shelters in case you want to come out or tell a friend or neighbor:

Southside Community Center, 4100 Hull Street Road
Department of Social Services, 900 East Marshall Street
East District Center, 701 North 25th Street

They're open Thursday and Friday during the hottest part of the day — from noon until 5 p.m.

Water will be provided, but not food. Pets are not allowed.

But please do keep your pets in mind today during the heat. Make sure they have access to plenty of water and shelter.

Copyright 2011 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.