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DeKalb, other Metro areas open cooling shelters in response to extreme heat

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. (CW69 News at 10) -- The extreme heat is sparking a red alert! DeKalb County and other Atlanta metro area counties are springing into action.

With a heat index of 105 degrees on Thursday, people in DeKalb County found plenty of ways to stay cool. Some brought their kids to the county's Exchange Park Splash Pad, and others went to the Medlock pool in Decatur. This kind of scorching heat in June caught most of them off guard.

"It's unbearable. That's why I'm at the pool," said Diana Durham, who lives near the pool.

For many, it takes more than a splash in the pool and some shade to cool off.

"Definitely bringing in plenty of hydration, water, Gatorade, things of that nature," said Raymond Cheers, who was visiting from Memphis, Tennessee with his daughter, while she's attending a camp at Emory University.

"We want to use all means necessary to get preparedness tips out to our citizens," said Chief Joseph Cox, the director of the DeKalb Emergency Management Agency.

The DeKalb EMA says a strategy is in place to help people mitigate the impacts of the heat, particularly high-risk individuals like older adults and children.

"We have activated and also identified cooling stations," Cox said.

During heat advisories, DeKalb libraries, most recreation centers, and the county's Human Services Department all serve as cooling stations. County pools are open from 2 to 4 p.m.

Decatur and other Metro areas have also opened cooling stations, including Fulton County and Atlanta. And of course, churches are known for helping people avoid extreme heat, so to speak.

"You can find a mall to go to, go shopping at your favorite place for a little bit. That will give an excuse to spend a little money for a change," Cox said.

For heat advisory updates, Cox recommends visiting your local city and county social media pages.

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