Thursday's high temperature in The Berkshires could reach the lower 90's. It's been a hot summer for sure, and we need rain as well.

With temperatures expected to be in the mid to upper 80's through Monday, Pittsfield City Hall has released information on cooling centers for those in need.

Summer Sun Face with sunglass and Happy Smile
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The hours of operation and location for the designated sites are as follows:

• Ralph J. Froio Senior Center, 330 North St., open through 4 p.m. today and Friday.

• Berkshire Athenaeum, 1 Wendell Ave., open through 9 p.m. today, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Friday, and 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Saturday.

During periods of high heat, the body has to work extra hard to maintain a normal temperature. Excessive heat can cause stress on the human body.

“Those who are especially vulnerable, young children, elderly people, and those who are sick, or overweight are more at risk of heat-related illness,” said Public Health Director Andy Cambi.

If the strain on the body becomes too great, it can cause heat exhaustion and heat stroke. These are serious heat-related conditions that pose a health threat, including permanent health damage and even death.

On Thursday, the Massachusetts Department of Health shared a recommendation to limit strenuous outdoor activity and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for those involved with recreational camps and programs.

Preventative measures should be taken to avoid heat stress include:

• Never leave children or pets alone in closed vehicles.

• Slow down, avoid strenuous activity.

• Drink plenty of water — even if you are not thirsty. Avoid alcoholic beverages and liquids high in sugar or caffeine. If your doctor generally limits the amount of fluid you drink, ask how much you should drink during hot weather.

• Drinking sports drinks can replace the salt and potassium that may be lost by sweating. Warning: If you are on a low-salt diet, talk with your doctor before drinking a sports beverage.

• If you do not have air conditioning, stay on your lowest floor, out of the sun. Use fans to stay cool and avoid using your stove and oven. Consider spending time in air-conditioned public spaces, such as schools, libraries, theaters, and other community facilities.

• Stay indoors as much as possible and limit exposure to the sun. • Limit outdoor exercise and outdoor work, if possible.

• If you must go outside, try to do so either in the morning or in the evening. While outside, take frequent breaks and find air-conditioned places or shady areas where you can rest. This will give your body a chance to recover.

• Wear light, loose-fitting clothing and a hat with vents such as straw hats.

• Take cool showers or baths to cool off.

• At the first signs of heat illness, go to a cooler place and rest. Pets can also suffer from excessive heat. Make sure your pets have adequate drinking water and do not leave pets outside for extended periods of time. Be a good neighbor. Check on family, friends, and neighbors, especially the elderly, those who live alone, those with medical conditions, those who may need additional assistance, and those who may not have air conditioning.

LOOK: The most expensive weather and climate disasters in recent decades

Stacker ranked the most expensive climate disasters by the billions since 1980 by the total cost of all damages, adjusted for inflation, based on 2021 data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The list starts with Hurricane Sally, which caused $7.3 billion in damages in 2020, and ends with a devastating 2005 hurricane that caused $170 billion in damage and killed at least 1,833 people. Keep reading to discover the 50 of the most expensive climate disasters in recent decades in the U.S.

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