‘We want people to be safe:’ Mayor Barrett, other Milwaukee leaders issue heat health advisory

MILWAUKEE -- Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and other city leaders held a news conference Wednesday, July 17  to ensure residents were aware of the safety measures needed during the extreme heat. This, as it was expected to only get hotter -- with a heat advisory taking effect at noon Thursday, through 11 p.m. Friday for all of southeast Wisconsin.

Anthony Brackett and crew

Anthony Brackett and crew

"About five minutes after you get out of your truck, your deodorant is in your boots!" said Anthony Brackett, owner of A. A. & P. Concrete Construction Inc. on the first day of the Waukesha County Fair Wednesday. "Extra breaks, lot of Gatorade, lot of water."

Brackett said his workers were starting early in the morning, in an effort to beat the rising temperatures.

"If somebody quits sweating, they got to go inside," said Brackett.

"We're very, very concerned about people with physical challenges. We're concerned about the elderly. We're concerned about children. This is the time of year where, tragically, we read about people leaving their children in cars. Please do not leave your children in cars unattended," said Mayor Tom Barrett.

Waukesha County Fair

The National Weather Service issued a heat advisory for all of southeast Wisconsin beginning at noon on Thursday, July 18 to 11 p.m. Friday, July 19.

"These can be dangerous days," said Mayor Barrett. "As happy as we are that the sun is shining and summer is here, we want to take special steps to make sure everyone is safe."

According to the National Weather Service, highs will reach the lower 90s Thursday afternoon, with heat index values of 100 to 106. Highs will reach the middle to upper 90s on Friday, with heat index values of 103 to 110.

"If you have neighbors, in particular, elderly neighbors, please be a good neighbor and check up on them," said Barrett.

Waukesha County Fair

Waukesha County Fair

Heat illnesses are possible with prolonged outdoor exposure to the heat. The elderly, children, and those on certain medications are especially at risk for heat illnesses.

At the Waukesha County Fair, people were focusing on staying hydrated.

"We're not necessarily beating the weather, but we're kind of enjoying it," said Jake Bernhardt.

"My oversized hat. I have two bottles of water in my purse, one for my husband, and one for me," said Rose Bernhardt.

Jake Bernhardt and Rose Bernhardt

Jake Bernhardt and Rose Bernhardt

Back in Milwaukee, officials with the City of Milwaukee Department of Public Works asked that people please put their garbage/recycling carts out ahead of time on Thursday and Friday, as pick-up was scheduled to begin one hour earlier than normal due to the heat. DPW officials suggested putting them out the night before, or by 6 a.m. the day of.

Below are a few tips from the Wisconsin Humane Society to keep your pets safe in the extreme heat.

  • Never leave an animal alone in a vehicle, because overheating can kill him. The inside of a vehicle can reach 160 degrees in mere minutes, even with the windows cracked.
  • Take walks in early morning or after sunset. On especially hot days, any outdoor exercise should be brief and in the cooler hours.
  • Test the pavement with your palm. If it’s too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for their paws.
  • Never leave an animal out in the sun. Always ensure they have access to shade and plenty of fresh water.
  • Regulate the temperature inside your home. Use AC, fans, or give access to cooler areas like a basement or darker room with tile floors.
  • Take extra precautions for old, overweight or snub-nosed dogs in hot weather. Boston terriers, Pekingese, Pugs, Lhasa Apsos, Shih tzus and Bulldogs are especially vulnerable. Dogs with heart or lung diseases should be closely monitored.
  • Watch for signs of heat stroke. These include panting, difficulty breathing, vomiting, diarrhea, confusion, rapid pulse, bright red gums, and blue tongue or lips.
  • Treat heat stroke immediately. Move them to a cool place and lower their body temperature with cool (NOT icy) water, then contact your veterinarian.

Bell Ambulance officials said they stocked every ambulance with ice and water, and added extra crews.

CLICK HERE for information from the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection on protecting pets and livestock amid the heat.

CLICK HERE for a graph from the DATCP showing how hot it can get in your vehicle.

CLICK HERE for information on heat exhaustion, heat stroke, and heat advisories from ReadyWisconsin.

CLICK HERE for information on Milwaukee County water parks and swimming pools.

CLICK HERE for heat-related resources from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

CLICK HERE for cooling sites in Milwaukee.

CLICK HERE for Milwaukee Public Library locations and hours.

Milwaukee Water Works Cool Spots (open Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 19-Aug. 9):

Ben Franklin School: 2308 W. Nash

Carmen Playfield: 7320 W. Carmen

Franklin Square: 2643 N. 13th

Green Bay: 3818 N. 8th

Milwaukee Recreation Wading Pools (open Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.):

Burnham: 1755 S. 32nd

Enderis: 2938 N. 72nd

Holt: 1716 W. Holt

Merrill Park: 461 N. 35th

Modrzejewski: 1020 W. Cleveland

Ohio: 974 W. Holt

Salvation Army cooling centers in Milwaukee County

Citadel Corps Church and Community Center
4129 West Villard Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53209
Monday - Friday: 9 a.m to 4 p.m.

Coldspring Church and Community Center
2900 W. Coldspring Rd., Greenfield, WI 53221
Monday - Thursday: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Friday: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Kenosha County cooling centers

  • Froedtert South Kenosha Medical Center Campus: 6308 8th Avenue
  • Froedtert South St. Catherine's Campus: 9555 – 76th Street
  • Aurora Hospital: 10400 75th Street
  • Memorial Hospital of Burlington: 252 McHenry Street, Burlington
  • Pleasant Prairie RecPlex: 9900 Terwall Terrace, Pleasant Prairie
  • Randall Town Hall: 34530 Bassett Road, Bassett
  • Somers Village Hall: 7511 – 12th Street, Somers
  • Twin Lakes Village Hall: 108 E. Main Street, Twin Lakes
  • Kenosha County Center: 19600 – 75th Street, Bristol
  • Kenosha County Job Center: 8600 Sheridan Road, Kenosha
  • Northside Public Library: 1500 – 27th Avenue, Kenosha
  • Southwest Library: 7979 – 38th Avenue, Kenosha
  • Simmons Library: 711 – 59th Place, Kenosha
  • Uptown Library: 2419 – 63rd Street, Kenosha
  • Kenosha Public Museum: 5500 – 1st Avenue, Kenosha
  • Civil War Museum: 5400 – 1st Avenue, Kenosha
  • Dinosaur Discovery Museum: 5608 – 10th Avenue, Kenosha
  • Twin Lakes Community Library: 110 S. Lake Avenue, Twin Lakes
  • Salem Community Library: 24615 – 89th Street, Salem
  • American Red Cross : Sites as necessary

Waukesha County cooling centers

Call 211 to locate a cooling center.

  • Dozens of cooling centers and places to cool off are located in Waukesha County
  • 211 does not have any resources available for obtaining fans

The public may use Waukesha County ice arenas as free cooling stations during business hours. The cost to skate is $6.50 for adults and $5.00 for seniors and children.

  • Naga-Waukee Park Ice Arena (2699 Golf Rd, Delafield) offers public open skate weekdays from 12:30 pm - 2:30 pm and 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm on weekends.
  • Eble Park Ice Arena (19400 W. Bluemound Rd. Brookfield) offers public open skate Sunday – Friday noon - 2:00 pm
  • Retzer Nature Center’s Environmental Learning Center (S14W28167 Madison St., Waukesha) will be open from 8 am to 4:30 pm.

CLICK HERE to access information about Waukesha County Park System swimming beaches.

CLICK HERE for more Waukesha County heat-related resources.

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