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Multnomah County
Published: 23 June 2017

The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat watch for the Multnomah County area as temperatures are expected to climb into the upper 90s and, perhaps, into triple digits this weekend. The watch extends from Saturday, June 24 to Sunday, June 25.

Three cooling centers will open in Multnomah County on those days to help seniors and people with disabilities and other health conditions stay safe.

A heat watch means that a prolonged period of hot temperatures is expected. Hot temperatures and high humidity combine to create dangerous situations during which heat illnesses are possible. Extreme heat can be especially dangerous for the most vulnerable in our community.

Cooling centers will open June 24 and June 25 at the locations and times listed below:

  • Multnomah County Walnut Park Building, 5325 NE MLK Jr. Blvd., Portland, 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Multnomah County East Building, 600 NE 8th St., Gresham, 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Hollywood Senior Center, 1820 NE 40th Ave., Portland, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Transportation to cooling centers can be arranged by calling Ride Connection at (503) 226-0700. Advance reservations are encouraged. All rides are free of charge.

Pets and children are welcome at all three cooling center locations. Each location also will have activities including board games and movies. Snacks and water also are available.

Community members are encouraged to check on elderly or vulnerable friends and relatives. People can take a pledge to tell one older person, person with a disability or other person vulnerable to heat about about Multnomah County’s cooling centers.

Heat stroke or heat exhaustion are common conditions in hot weather. Higher temperatures also can place a dangerous strain on those with heart and other health issues.

Here are a few tips for staying cool:

  • Drink plenty of water, non-alcoholic and decaffeinated fluids. People with health conditions such as epilepsy, heart or kidney disease should talk to a doctor before increasing their consumption.
  • Find the cool places. Visit a family member or neighbor with air conditioning, or go to the nearest public library, shopping mall or other cooled space.
  • Dress for the weather. Wear a wide-brimmed hat and loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing to reflect heat and sunlight.
  • Never wait in a parked vehicle or leave a child, elder or pet waiting in a parked car. Temperatures inside parked vehicles can rise dangerously high -- even with the windows open.
  • Slow down. Reduce or reschedule strenuous activities until the heat of the day has passed.
  • Stay out of the sun. Sunburn interferes with the skin’s ability to cool.
  • Take a cool bath, shower or sponge bath. Cool water can help cool an overheated body.
  • Pay attention to older adults, people with disabilities or health conditions.
  • Check on those who are at-risk at least twice a day.
  • For additional tips, visit www.multco.us/help-when-its-hot
  • Call for more information. The Multnomah County Aging, Disability and Veterans Services Helpline has resources for older adults and people with disabilities, including a list of senior centers, transportation services and 24-hour crisis intervention. Call (503) 988-3646 or TTY at (503) 988-3683.

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