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Keep Safe During the Extreme Heat Wave Expected in Somerset County through Monday

By Barbara A. Preston | July 20, 2022

The heat is on. Temperatures in the mid 90s, with heat indexes as high as 110, are expected in the Montgomery and Rocky Hill area through Monday, according to the National Weather Service.

Somerset County officials are urging residents to protect themselves from the oppressive heat and humidity that is expected to last for the next five days.

Escape to a nearby beach town if you can. Cape May beach is at least 15 degrees cooler. Photo by Barbara A. Preston.

"With the warning of dangerous heat indexes exceeding 100°F this week, the Somerset County Department of Health (SCDoH) urges residents to protect themselves, their loved ones, and their neighbors by staying hydrated, taking precautions when outdoors, and checking on vulnerable neighbors and family members," said Commissioner Doug Singleterry, liaison with the SCDoH.

“The extreme heat we’re experiencing can be dangerous, particularly for older residents, children, and those with pre-existing health conditions,” he said. "The heat indexes are expected to be at their highest, above 100°F, on Wednesday and Thursday but the high temperatures are likely to continue at least through [Monday] so everyone should continue to take precautions throughout the weekend.”

Cooling Centers Activated

Somerset County has activated cooling centers throughout the county. Montgomery and Rocky Hill area residents are welcome to read, rest, play board games, do paperwork, or to simply enjoy the air conditioning at the following places:

Following are a few recommendations for protecting yourself and your loved ones while temperatures are dangerously high:

  • Drive to your closest beach town and sit by the ocean.

  • Keep yourself cool - stay indoors during the hottest times of the day, seek out air-conditioned locations, such as libraries, malls, and other public facilities. If you don’t have air conditioning, take cool showers or baths.

  • Avoid outdoor activities or limit them to the morning and evening hours. Avoid direct sunlight whenever possible.

  • Wear appropriate clothing - choose loose, light-colored clothing; use a shade hat or an umbrella to block the sun.

  • Wear sunscreen - sunburn affects your body's ability to cool down and can make you dehydrated.

  • Stay hydrated - Drink plenty of fluids to replace what you lose through sweat. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink. Avoid alcohol, caffeinated beverages, and sugary drinks. If you have a health condition that requires that you limit fluids, talk with your doctor about your situation.

  • Do not leave children or pets in cars even if the windows are cracked open under any circumstance. Cars can heat-up to dangerous temperatures within minutes.

  • Do not leave pets outdoors.

  • Check often on family, friends, and neighbors who are at high risk.

Wildwood beach at 6:30 am. It's a 2.5-hour drive from Montgomery Township, but oh, that sea breeze. One-bedroom, no-frills units are going for $400 a night! It is possible to do day trips, though the drive is grueling. Belmar or Asbury Park are only about an hour drive. Photo by Barbara A. Preston.

Health Affects of the Heat

Older adults, young children, those with pre-existing conditions, and people with mental illness are at higher risk for heat-related illness. Young and healthy individuals can also be at risk if they participate in strenuous physical activities during hot weather.

High outdoor temperatures can be dangerous because the body is unable to cool itself properly, potentially resulting in heat exhaustion. Symptoms include muscle cramps, weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea, and vomiting. Individuals with signs of overheating should be moved to a cooler location, rest for a few minutes, and slowly drink a cool beverage. Individuals suffering from heat exhaustion should get immediate medical attention if conditions do not quickly improve.

Heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke. Symptoms include an extremely high body temperature (above 103°F); red, hot, dry skin; a rapid, strong pulse; nausea; confusion; and unconsciousness, and can result in death or permanent disability if not treated quickly. For someone suffering from heat stroke, seek medical attention immediately and begin cooling them down for heat exhaustion.

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For more information about how to prevent heat-related illness, visit the Centers for Disease and Prevention’s website, or the Somerset County Health Department’s website at


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