MEDIA CONTACT:  Julie Willmot
(609) 278-7137

TRENTON, N.J. -- An excessive heat warning has been issued for the Central New Jersey area by the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management, in coordination with the National Weather Service through at least Friday, July 22, 2011. Heat index values (a measure of the combination of heat and humidity) could approach 105 to 110 degrees. The excessive heat warning is in effect until Friday and will be reevaluated as the weekend approaches.

Children, older adults, people with disabilities and pets are most at risk during excessive temperatures.  Mercer County is reminding residents that many cooling sites are open.

Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes said residents should drink plenty water, try to stay indoors, preferably in an air-conditioned space, and to wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothing when going outdoors. He also urged residents to check up on elderly relatives, friends, and neighbors. Pets are also very vulnerable to excessive heat. Animals should never be left unattended in a vehicle, even with the windows down or for short periods of time, and pets should be provided with plenty of fresh water to drink, and a shaded or sheltered area.

Mercer County also offers designated Summer Cooling Sites including all municipal senior centers, neighborhood community centers, and the nine Mercer County Library System Branches. Please note that Senior Centers are only open Monday through Friday. Call individual locations for daily hours of operation. Library branches are closed on Sundays throughout the summer. These locations are as follows and are open to all residents:

The following Mercer County library branches are cooling sites: Ewing, Hickory Corner, Hightstown, Hollowbrook, Hopewell, Lawrence, Twin Rivers, Washington, and West Windsor.

The following municipal senior centers are cooling sites: Hamilton, Ewing, Hopewell Valley, Jennye Stubblefield, Lawrence Township, Monsignor Lipinski, Princeton Senior Resource Center, Reading, Sam Naples, and Robbinsville Township.

For more information or to contact your local cooling site, please call the Mercer County Office on Aging at 877-222-3737.  In addition to making cool sites and home cooling appliances available, the County also offers a “Warmline” via the Office on Aging.  During daytime hours, residents can call (609) 989-6661 or toll-free (877) 222-3737 for assistance in coping with the heat.  During non-business hours, residents are encouraged to call 911 if they experience heat-related problems.

Additionally, the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management offers the following:
Heat is often referred to as the “silent killer,” in contrast to tornados, hurricanes and other natural hazards with more dramatic visual effects.  For more information regarding heat related emergencies and a list of the County Emergency Management Offices, please log on to www.ready.nj.gov, or visit the National Weather Service Heat Safety Page (http://www.weather.gov/om/heat/index.shtml). The US Center for Disease Control Heat Safety Page (http://www.bt.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/) contains information about the signs and symptoms of heat stroke and heat exhaustion. Call 2-1-1, New Jersey’s toll-free, confidential help line, for information about heat safety resources.