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(Des Moines, IA) – Central Iowa experienced its first extreme heat event with high temperatures, high humidity and little overnight cooling over Memorial Day weekend.  Heat events will continue throughout the summer months. In honor of Iowa Heat Awareness Day (June 7, 2018), we recognize our partners who Polk County residents can turn to during heat events.

“Each summer, The Polk County Health Department plans extensively to help Polk County residents prevent heat related injuries, illnesses and deaths,” said Helen Eddy, Polk County Health Department Director. “This could not happen without the support of our partnering organizations and businesses who help to keep our community safe.”

Below are a few of our partners and their services they can provide during extreme heat events:

Animal Rescue League of Iowa (ARL): During the summer, the ARL is a pet friendly daytime cooling center. Residents can bring their pets, enjoy air conditioning and respite care. In times where the Polk County Health Department opens an overnight cooling shelter, the ARL will board resident’s pets while they visit the overnight cooling shelter.

Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority (DART): When Central Iowa is under a heat advisory or heat warning, DART will provide individuals free rides to and from daytime cooling centers or overnight cooling shelters. Patrons need to inform the driver that they are going to a daytime cooling centers or an overnight cooling shelter.

Prep Iowa

2-1-1: Calling 2-1-1 can help residents find a daytime cooling center closest to their home. 2-1-1 can also help connect residents with what DART bus route they can take to a daytime cooling center. They can also link residents to services that provide fans or air conditioning assistance. 

“The Health Department will continue its work with the National Weather Service of Iowa and Polk County Emergency Management to monitor and assess the weather and its safety conditions throughout the heat season,” said Eddy.

For a full list and map of daytime cooling centers, visit the Polk County Health Department’s web site at

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