Temperatures are expected to soar this weekend, with heat index values forecast up to 107 degrees.
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is urging people to stay hydrated and limit time outdoors.
Several Triangle homeless shelters have posted a white flag out front. That means they're expanding capacity because of the weather, according to Frank Lawrence, director of Raleigh's South Wilmington Street Center.
“We are open to accepting folks who need shelter from the extreme temperatures, so if you see our white flag outside, we are definitely open to assist,” Lawrence said. “Due to the forecast, that will be late into the evening.”
Forecasters expect heat index values to top 100 degrees over the next three days.
According to the North Carolina Heat Report, emergency department visits for heat-related illness statewide hit 373 during the week of July 9 to 15. Most of those were men who were treated after working outdoors on landscaping and roofing project, as well as outdoor recreation, according to the state Department of Health and HUman Services.
“We strongly urge everyone to take precautions for themselves and loved ones and stay in cool or air-conditioned spaces as much as possible,” Acting State Health Director Kelly Kimple said in a statement. “For those who must work outside, we encourage staying hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids frequently to minimize the risk of heat-related illness.”
The Raleigh Rescue Mission is also observing the White Flag Advisory when temperatures rise above 100.