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JUST IN: Fairfax County activates heat plan for July 4th

JUST IN: Fairfax County activates heat plan for July 4th
A LOVE sign in the colors of the US flag in front of the Oakmont Rec Center in Oakton (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

This year’s Independence Day promises to be a hot day in the Washington DC area.

Fairfax County has activated its heat plan for tomorrow (Thursday) in response to a heat advisory from the National Weather Service, which predicts high temperatures and high humidity will result in a heat index of 100 to 105.

However, because it is a holiday, many of the county facilities that normally serve as cooling centers will be unavailable, the county said in a post on its emergency information blog.

All branches of the Fairfax County Public Library and all Neighborhood and Community Services (NCS) facilities, including community centers and social services offices, will be closed. Community members can instead visit recreation centers, which will be open until 4 p.m., and the county’s three emergency shelters in Fairfax, Reston and Seven Corners will operate at full capacity day and night.

“Supplies such as bottled water, sunscreen and insect repellent will also be available in these cooling centers,” the district said.

As part of the heat plan, the county will also work with social workers and other partners to check on homeless individuals and distribute relief supplies at shelters, drop-in centers and food distribution sites.

In hot weather, the county advises drinking plenty of fluids, limiting outdoor activities and taking frequent breaks, wearing light, loose-fitting clothing, and checking on older people and others who may be particularly vulnerable to heat-related illnesses.

The full NWS heat warning, in effect from noon to 8 p.m. tomorrow, can be found below.

…HEAT WARNING IN EFFECT THURSDAY 12:00 PM TO 8:00 PM EDT…

* WHAT…Heat index values ​​around 100 to 105 expected.

* WHERE …parts of central, northern, and southern Maryland, the District of Columbia, and central and northern Virginia.

* WHEN…Thursday from 12:00pm to 8:00pm EDT.

* EFFECTS…High temperatures and high humidity can cause heat illnesses.

* MORE DETAILS…The combination of air temperatures in the 80s and high humidity may lead to an increase in heat-related illnesses, especially among participants in outdoor Independence Day activities.