Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall, 320 W. Willoughby Ave., will be open as a cooling center through Wednesday for elders who need a cool place during the ongoing heatwave. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall, 320 W. Willoughby Ave., will be open as a cooling center through Wednesday for elders who need a cool place during the ongoing heatwave. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

Tlingit and Haida opens cooling center for elders

Keep your cool during the heatwave.

The Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska on Monday opened a cooling center for elders in light of a recent heatwave.

The cooling center at Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall, 320 W. Willoughby Ave.,will be open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Wednesday. Visitors are asked to wear a mask, and public safety director for Tlingit and Haida Jason Wilson said masks will be provided at the center.

“We do have masks available for our visitors and we encourage physical distancing, which we know it’s not always easy, but we have a good size hall, we’re air-conditioned in there, so it’s a nice comfortable space for our elders,” Wilson said.

All elders in the Juneau area who are looking to beat the heat are invited to stop by the Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall to stay cool and enjoy air conditioning, food and drinks, door prizes and company.

“We’re looking to try and service a group that may or may not be need a little assistance during this time of heat, we have a lot of tribal citizens that are in nice places that they stay, but they might not have air conditioning, so we felt it important to make sure that we have place to cool off. It’s been going great, we had about 12 people in there last time I checked, they’re just kind of hanging out with some refreshments and I’m sure a lot of good visiting going on,” said Wilson.

According to the National Weather Service, the heatwave could potentially beat record-high temperatures in Juneau dating back as far as 1913, which are expected to reach the upper 70s and higher and could affect many Southeast Alaska communities.

Temperatures are expected to fall later this week.

Wilson, along with the entire Tlingit and Haida Public Safety Department, offered the following safety tips:

— Locate fans for cooling.

— Wear light-colored and loose-fitted clothes.

— Drink plenty of fluids.

— Apply sun protection.

— Take breaks if you must be outdoors for extended periods.

— Do not leave young children and pets unattended in closed vehicles.

— Plan to check on the elderly, those who are home-bound, and other loved ones and neighbors who could be more vulnerable.

Contact Jonson Kuhn at jonson.kuhn@juneauempire.com.

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