The Knox County Health Department and Knox County Emergency Management Agency are monitoring local conditions to see if the need arises for a formal cooling center to be opened over the next few days. Temperatures are forecast to be in the upper 90s, starting today through Thursday. A combination of heat and humidity that could be dangerous for those spending too much time outdoors.

“We will have the regular places available, but likely not open a formal cooling center unless there is a significant power outage or other events,” said Knox County EMA Coordinator Randy Hovind.

Those who are most susceptible to heat and heat-related illnesses include at-risk populations such as the elderly and the very young. Pets should have plenty of water available and shade to get out of the sun.

Residents can visit the following locations that are set up as temporary cooling centers:


  • Public Safety Building – 150 South Broad Street – 24 hours a day.
  • YMCA – 1324 W. Carl Sandburg Drive – 5 a.m. to 9 p.m.


  • Oneida Fire Station – 210 Sage Street – 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.


  • Wataga Fire Station – 310 W. Willard Street – 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

If additional locations become available, this list will be updated here

Heat-related illnesses can cause serious injury and even death if unattended. Signs of heat-related illnesses include:

  • nausea
  • dizziness
  • flushed or pale skin
  • heavy sweating
  • headaches

Persons with heat-related illness should be moved to a cool place immediately, given cool water to drink and ice packs or cool wet cloths should be applied to the skin. If a victim refuses water, vomits, or loses consciousness, call 9-1-1 immediately.

Tips for staying cool include:

  • Prepare for the unexpected. Discuss heat safety precautions with members of your household. Have a plan for what to do if the power goes out.
  • Dress for the heat. Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Avoid dark colors because they absorb the sun’s rays. It is also a good idea to wear hats or to use an umbrella when in the sun.
  • Stay hydrated. Carry water or juice with you and drink continuously even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid drinks with alcohol or caffeine, which dehydrate the body.
  • Eat small meals and eat more often. Avoid high-protein foods, which increase metabolic heat.
  • Slow down and avoid strenuous activity. If you must do strenuous activity, do it during the coolest part of the day, which is usually in the morning between 4 and 7 a.m. Take frequent breaks.
  • Stay indoors when possible. If air-conditioning is not available, stay on the lowest floor out of the sunshine.