City of Seattle Announces Cooling Centers and Resources Ahead of Heat Wave


Seattle

– The National Weather Service has issued a Heat Advisory for Seattle this week due to forecasted high temperatures above 90 degrees. The warming trend will begin Tuesday and continue through Saturday. Extreme heat can cause illness and worsen existing health conditions.

“Seattle residents are experiencing the impacts of extreme heat and climate change, and as a City we need to respond by helping residents today and building a more sustainable and resilient tomorrow,” said Mayor Bruce Harrell. “In the immediate, that means ensuring safe places for people to go when it gets too hot and educating neighbors about best practices and available resources. We recognize the impacts of climate change and severe weather are not felt equally, which is why we must center equity and vulnerable neighbors in our response, now and in the long-term.”

The City of Seattle is working together with our regional partners to prepare for these extreme temperatures including monitoring critical infrastructure and air quality and providing resources to help keep residents cool. Cooling centers will be available across the city, and outreach teams are on the ground working with our most vulnerable residents to prevent heat illness in these extreme conditions.

Register with AlertSeattle to receive extreme heat alerts and information on how to protect yourself and your family.

“Extreme heat is a deadly hazard we will see more of in Seattle as a result of climate change,” said Office of Emergency Management Director Curry Mayer. “We ask residents to take extreme heat seriously by understanding the danger and learning how to protect yourself, your family, and your neighbors. We will continue to work with regional, state, and federal partners to keep residents safe during extreme heat events and mitigate the risk events in the future.”

Heat Safety

We encourage everyone in Seattle to take extreme heat seriously and act with caution this week. Public Health – Seattle & King County recommends taking simple steps to help prevent heat related illness and death.


  • Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water before you feel thirsty.

  • Keep your home cooler by shutting blinds or drawing curtains. Use fans or air-conditioners, if you have one.

  • Check on your neighbors, friends, and family in the area – particularly seniors and people with medical conditions – to ensure they are not suffering heat illness at home. Cooling centers are available.

  • Avoid outdoor activities if possible during the heat of the day, generally from 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM.

  • Never leave children or pets in a vehicle. Temperatures inside of cars can skyrocket to deadly levels quickly during extreme heat.

  • Use life jackets or other flotation devices on the water to prevent drowning.

  • The City’s Seattle Animal Shelter also reminds residents to protect their pets from the heat by never leaving them unattended in the sunlight, keeping ventilation and water flowing for them, avoid overexerting them, and never leave them unattended in a vehicle. For a full list of pet safety tips, please visit the shelter’s website.


Cooling Centers

Cooling centers are open across the city at libraries, community centers, and other facilities. City-affiliated sites are listed below. Anyone visiting a cooling center is encouraged wear a mask and maintain distance from people from outside your household to prevent the spread of COVID. Many local businesses also offer air-conditioned spaces.

Community Centers

Four Seattle Community Centers have air conditioning and will be open to serve as cooling centers beginning July 26th through at least July 28th from 2:00 PM – 8:00 PM each day.


  • Rainier Beach Community Center, 8825 Rainier Ave S, Seattle, WA 98118

  • International District Chinatown Community Center, 719 8th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104

  • Northgate Community Center, 10510 5th Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98125

  • Magnuson Park, Building. #406, 6344 NE 74th ST Seattle, WA 98115


Parks

Seattle Parks and Recreation offers a variety of pools, spray parks, wading pools, lifeguarded beaches, and other recreational sites. For a full listing of these sites and their hours of operation, visit the Seattle Parks and Recreation website.

Senior Centers

Please call ahead to confirm hours and availability. All sites listed below have air conditioning.


  • Central Area Senior Center, 500 30th Ave S, Monday – Friday, 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM; 206-726-4926 (temperature checks, masking, and physical distancing protocols are in effect)

  • Greenwood Senior Center, 525 N 85th St, Monday – Thursday, 9:30 AM – 7 PM and Friday 9:30 AM – 6 PM; 206-297-0875 (masks are required indoors when not actively eating or drinking, well-behaved small dogs permitted)

  • Pike Market Senior Center, 85 Pike St, Suite 200, Monday – Friday, 8:20 AM – 4:00 PM; 206-728-2773 (masks and proof of vaccination required)

  • Senior Center of West Seattle, 4217 SW Oregon St, Monday – Friday, 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM; 206-932-4044 (sign-in and masks required)

  • Southeast Seattle Senior Center, 4655 South Holly St, Monday – Friday, 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM; 206-722-0317 (masks required in the building)


Libraries

The Central Library and 17 branches of The Seattle Public Library have air conditioning. Everyone is welcome to come in, cool down and stay hydrated during open hours. The nine branches that do not currently air conditioning may need to close if temperatures inside exceed 80 degrees for over an hour.

For a current list of air-conditioned library hours and updates about closures, please visit spl.org/Today.

Seattle Center

The Seattle Center Armory Food & Event Hall will be open from 7:00 AM – 8:00 PM each day to serve as a cooling center. The International Fountain is closed for cleaning 7/25 and 7/26. Dupen Fountain is also closed for a complete overhaul and renovation.

Resources for People Experiencing Homelessness

The King County Regional Homelessness Authority (KCRHA) manages the overall emergency response for unsheltered people in Seattle and the King County region, leading all contract holder engagement and coordination for emergency preparations and planning. In anticipation of the heat wave this week, KCRHA has activated its Tier 1 response and is making funding of up to $2,000 available to homeless service providers to support those living unsheltered countywide.

The Human Services Department’s HOPE Team, in partnership with outreach providers, will be providing water, performing welfare checks, sharing information on cooling center locations, and making referrals into shelters throughout the week.

For an updated list of day center and cooling center locations for people experiencing homelessness, please visit: https://kcrha.org/severe-weather-update/.

Protecting Critical Infrastructure and Maintaining City Services

Seattle Department of Transportation

Extreme heat can damage our roads as expanding pavement gets pushed up creating “buckles” in the road. Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) crews are standing ready to respond to potential road damage and will prioritize repairs based on public safety and impact to the traveling public. The public can report road damage by calling 206-684-ROAD, emailing 684-ROAD@seattle.gov or using the Find It, Fix It app.

SDOT crews will also spray cool water on Ballard, Fremont, and University Bridges throughout the day to help reduce the risk of the draw bridges’ movable steel parts expanding and getting stuck. Travelers should plan for brief closures of similar length to normal draw bridge openings. SDOT will continue these cool water baths as long as temperatures remain above 85 degrees.

Seattle City Light

Seattle City Light anticipates adequate resources to meet load increases associated with expected high temperatures. If we experience any unplanned outages, heat-related or otherwise, we have sufficient staffing to respond. Adjustments to staffing will be made as the situation evolves.

Seattle Fire Department

The Seattle Fire Department will be prepared to respond to any heat-related medical emergencies and fires. All residents can take steps to help prevent brush fires from occurring in these hot weather conditions, including properly discarding of smoking materials and ensuring vehicles don’t cause sparks on roadways. If you or someone you observe is showing signs of heat stroke, call 911 immediately (temperature above 103 degrees, nausea or vomiting, loss of consciousness, rapid and strong pulse, throbbing headache/confusion, no sweating).

The Seattle Fire Department’s Health One team will operate during the hot weather stretch from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day, focusing on assisting outreach partners, coordinating transport of some individuals to cooling centers and providing proactive outreach to clients the unit serves. All Health One rigs are supplied with ice, cold beverages, and other items for heat emergencies.

Future Planning

Since the historic and deadly heat events of Summer 2021, the City of Seattle has worked with regional partners, subject matter experts including the National Weather Service and the University of Washington, and communities most impacted by heat and environmental injustice, such as seniors, primary caregivers for children, communities of color, and people experiencing homelessness, to improve our extreme heat planning and response.

In addition to the above actions the City is taking to respond to this week’s heat event, we are taking long term steps to reduce our contributions to climate change, mitigate its impacts on our community, and plan ahead to build a more sustainable future:


  • Seattle is transitioning our infrastructure away from fossil fuels, reducing emissions, and raising standards for future construction.

  • The City’s Clean Heat program is helping to households convert from expensive and dirty oil furnaces to electric heat pumps which reduce energy bills and provide cooling and air filtration. Residents can apply for assistance to convert oil furnaces to electric here.

  • Seattle is improving our tree canopy to cool urban areas and reduce heat islands which improves health, equity, and climate resilience. The city is planting more trees in our parks and public spaces and supporting communities to plant and maintain trees. Residents can apply to get free trees for their neighborhood here.

  • Seattle is addressing historic environmental inequities and prioritizing communities where future impacts will be highest like the Duwamish Valley neighborhoods. Residents can apply for Duwamish River Opportunity Grants here.