The city of Fayetteville and Cumberland County are banding together to protect people from the intense heat by opening almost 30 facilities in the Fayetteville area as cooling stations for people who need air conditioning.
Officials say the Cumberland County Library headquarters on Maiden Lane is one of the most popular destinations.
That's because, visitors said the staff there is welcoming, and with so many books and computers available, it's easy to be productive.
"It's very beneficial when you have a place that's cool, inviting, orderly and you're able to sit around and do the things that you need to do," James Harris of Fayetteville said.
Eight county libraries in total have been turned into cooling stations. People can also go to the county's health department and its social services offices on Ramsey Street, as well as the FAST Transit center on Franklin Street. Sixteen parks and rec centers are also open-even staying open on Independence Day-- unlike the other options in the city.
Cumberland County says the cooling stations will all be open through Friday.
Still, one mom says the main library has a special place in her heart for smoldering summer days.
"I love to bring my children here," Ting Lei of Fayetteville said. "It's not easy for the parents. We have to take care of the kids, so these are really good places."
Lei says the library gives her son a place to read and have fun with indoor play areas without the potential dangers outside in the heat.
"Sometimes there are some kids inside they can play with, and there are toys inside. They really like it, and I can spend some more time with the kids, not just at home," Lei said.
Officials encourage people--especially those working outside or prone to heat-related illness --be careful. Drink lots of water, stay out of the sun, and check in on neighbors and relatives who may not have access to air-conditioning.
Here's a list of the cooling stations in Fayetteville:
**Recreation Centers will be open July 4 from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.
All eight Cumberland County Public Libraries
Hours: Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Headquarters Library at 300 Maiden Lane, Fayetteville, along with Cliffdale, North Regional, and Hope Mills branches are also open Sundays from 2 to 6 p.m.
The Cumberland County Department of Social Services
Hours: Monday - Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Location: 1225 Ramsey St.
All public lobbies will be available to citizens. Masks or face coverings are encouraged for those with preexisting conditions.
The Cumberland County Department of Public Health (First-floor lobby)
Hours: Monday-Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Location: 1235 Ramsey St.
*Masks or face coverings are required in some areas and immediately following a COVID-19 infection or close contact.
The lobbies of Fayetteville-Cumberland Parks and Recreation Centers are open to the public year-round, during normal operating hours and can be used by residents as a respite from the heat.
The lobby of the Fayetteville Area System of Transit (FAST), located at 505 Franklin St., is also open to the public during normal operating hours.
Heat Exhaustion or Heat Stroke
How to survive a prolonged heat wave
Adults older than 65, children younger than four, people with existing medical conditions, and those without access to air conditioning are at the greatest risk on days with high temperatures.
Drinking plenty of water and staying out of the sun are critical cautions to take.
People should also check on their neighbors who may be at high risk and ensure they have access to heat relief and hydration.