Libraries, community centers and other facilities designated as cooling centers can be a place to get out of the intense heat long enough to give your body a break.

A National Weather Service excessive heat warning takes effect at noon today and runs through 8 p.m. Saturday. The heat index could reach 105 to 110 each afternoon, and that’s high enough to pose some health risks.

The city of Independence is opening the Sermon Center, at Truman and Noland roads, as a cooling center from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. today through Saturday.

In Blue Springs, Vesper Hall and the YMCA are designated cooling centers, as are libraries across Eastern Jackson County.

Residents this week are advised to dress in light and loose-fitting clothing, drink plenty of fluids, stay in the shade or, better yet, in air-conditioned spaces for extended periods. If possible, put off strenuous outdoor work.

Never leave a person or a pet unattended in a car, even for a minute. Make sure outdoor pets have shade and plenty of fresh water. Check on friends, family and neighbors.

Today’s SkyCast for the metro area is yellow. It had been more severe – orange – on Monday and Tuesday. The Mid-America Regional Council posts the SkyCast daily, a measure of ground-level ozone, which can cause or worsen breathing problems.

The United Way’s 211 service also lists local libraries as cooling centers, open during regular library hours. In Eastern Jackson County, those include:

• Trails West, 11401 E. 23rd St. in Independence.

• Sugar Creek, 102 S. Sterling.

Also, these libraries in the Mid-Continent Public Library system:

• Blue Springs North, 850 N.W. Hunter Drive.

• Blue Springs South, 2220 S. Missouri 7

• Grain Valley, 101 S.W. Eagles Parkway

• Buckner, 19 E. Jefferson

• North Independence, Spring Street and U.S. 24.

• South Independence, 13700 E. 35th St.

• The Midwest Genealogy Center, 3440 S. Lee’s Summit Road, Independence.