MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota is on the front end of several days of extreme heat. Temperatures are forecast to reach the 90s and possibly break records into the weekend. If you or someone you know are at risk of overheating, you can take advantage of cooling centers established across Hennepin and Ramsey counties.
Cooling centers across Hennepin County are located at libraries, beaches and pools, government buildings and more. One such cooling center, the historic Sumner Library in the Near North neighborhood of Minneapolis, is offering bags of food, clothes, and water to anyone who needs it.
"Due to the heat, people are coming in to stay cool, and we're happy to be a resource within Hennepin County. We're really happy to offer that. We also have a water filtration system -- people can use that, and water bottles, to get hydrated, stay hydrated, and stay healthy," library supervisor Thomas Redd said. "We are a hub that is accessible to the whole community."
If you visit a Hennepin County building, you are required to wear a face covering over your mouth and nose.
Physical distancing measures will be in place.
Cooling spaces are open to the public during extreme heat. Because of COVID-19, not all spaces located on the county's interactive map may be open.
A link to a website with more information about each location is included on the map.
Remember, the inside of a car can overheat extremely quickly. Do not leave pets, children or vulnerable adults inside a parked car during hot weather. Avoid being outside during the hottest points of the day, but if you have to be outside drink plenty of water, wear loose, lightweight clothing and use sunscreen.
If you plan to beat the heat inside with your own air conditioner, Xcel Energy has some tips for keeping your energy bills low:
- Install a programmable thermostat that raises the setting when the house is empty, and lowers it to a comfortable level when everyone comes home
- Use ceiling fans to help circulate cool air through the home
- Open interior doors to improve the circulation of cool air
- Use a whole-house or attic fan to draw in cool nighttime air and push out hot air during the day
- Change air conditioning filters
- Close drapes and blinds during the heat of the day
- Turn off unnecessary lighting and replacing incandescent bulbs with LEDs, which use 75-80% less energy than traditional bulbs and last 15% longer
- Run washing machines, dishwashers and clothes dryers with full loads after the heat of the day, which helps keep the house cooler and reduces strain on the local power grid