Photo by Joe Mabel.
Photo by Joe Mabel

Summers in the Pacific Northwest are usually comfortable. However, when temperatures rise to dangerous levels for several days at a time, there is an increased health risk to people and pets, and fire risk to property. Common heat-related illnesses are heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Individuals who are at a higher risk of a heat-related illness include: older adults, infants and young children, people with mental illness and chronic diseases, people with disabilities, people who are overweight, those who work or exercise outdoors, people experiencing homelessness, and users of some medications, especially those taken for mental disorders, movement disorders, allergies, depression, and heart or circulatory problems.

The National Weather Service issued a heat advisory that will remain in effect from Saturday, July 12, to Monday, July 14. Temperatures will climb into the mid 80s and lower 90s over the weekend. Overnight lows are expected to be in the mid 50s to mid 60s.

In a prolonged period of heat, the combination of hot temperatures and high humidity can combine to create a dangerous situation in which heat illnesses are possible, according to the National Weather Service. Seattle residents are reminded to drink plenty of fluids, stay in air-conditioned rooms, stay out of the sun, and check up on relatives and neighbors.

Many homes in the International District and throughout Seattle are not equipped with air conditioning and may get very hot during the daytime. The City has released the following information to stay cool and to protect your pets. Air conditioned libraries and senior centers are also listed below.

Hot weather tips

  • When you’re outside, limit the time you’re in direct sunlight and avoid or reduce activities that are tiring or take a lot of energy.
  • Take extra precaution if you work outside and know the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
  • Do not leave infants, children, people with mobility challenges and pets in a parked car, even with the window rolled down.
  • Check in with your elderly neighbors and relatives to make sure they are staying cool too.
  • Drink plenty of water. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink.
  • Avoid drinks with caffeine, alcohol and large amounts of sugar because they can actually de-hydrate your body.

Protect your pets

Pets are especially vulnerable in high heat and the Seattle Animal Shelter recommends the following:

  • Never leave your animal chained or penned up directly in sunlight. Provide a shady area for retreat, such as a dog house, porch or shady tree, and always provide cool water.
  • If you leave animals indoors, open the windows, keep a fan running, provide plenty of water, and if possible, leave them in a cool location.
  • Never leave dogs or cats unattended in a closed, locked car. Animals do not perspire like humans; they cool themselves by panting and vinyl seats in vehicles get hot under animals’ feet and prevent them from perspiring through their paws.
  • If you must travel with your pet, carry water.
  • Avoid overexerting your animal in hot weather.
  • For birds, take caution and place the bird’s cage away from direct sunlight during the intense heat of the afternoon. Provide water and fruits and vegetables with high moisture content.

Libraries

The following Seattle Public Library locations are equipped with air conditioning, and serve as cooling centers when the area experiences extreme heat. Please call the individual location before you go for open hours and to verify that the air conditioning is working.

  • Central Library (1000 4th Ave) – 206-386-4636
  • Ballard (5614 22nd Ave NW) – 206-684-4089
  • Beacon Hill (2821 Beacon Ave S) – 206-684-4711
  • Broadview (12755 Greenwood Ave N) – 206-684-7519
  • Capitol Hill (425 Harvard Ave E) – 206-684-4715
  • Delridge (5423 Delridge Way SW) – 206-733-9125
  • Douglass-Truth (2300 E Yesler Way) – 206-684-4704
  • Greenwood (8016 Greenwood Ave N) – 206-684-4086
  • High Point (3411 SW Raymond St) – 206-684-7454
  • International District / Chinatown (713 8th Ave S) – 206-386-1300
  • Lake City (12501 28th Ave NE) – 206-684-7518
  • Madrona-Sally Goldmark (1134 33rd Ave) – 206-684-4705
  • Magnolia (2801 34th Ave W) – 206-386-4225
  • NewHolly (7058 32nd Ave S) – 206-386-1905
  • Northgate (10548 5th Ave NE) – 206-386-1980
  • Rainier Beach (9125 Rainier Ave S) – 206-386-1906
  • Wallingford (1501 N 45th St) – 206-684-4088

Seattle Center

(View the campus map PDF at http://www.seattlecenter.com/downloads/sc_map_color_gates.pdf)

  • Seattle Center Armory serves as an indoors cooling center; and tomorrow, visitors are most welcome to take in Seattle Center Festal:  Polish Festival from 12 p.m. – 8 p.m. in the Armory and Mural Amphitheatre
  • Armory Center House (Open 7 a.m. – 10 p.m. on Fridays & Saturdays and 7 a.m. – 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday)
  • International Fountain (Closed Saturday for a private event, but open until 9 p.m. Sunday)
  • Fountain of Creation (Open until midnight – when the Center Campus closes)

Senior Centers

The following senior centers have air conditioning or are relatively cool and are open to the public:

  • Greenwood Senior Center (525 N. 8th Street)
  • International Drop-In Center (7301 Beacon Ave S.)
  • Pike Market Senior Center and Food Bank (85 Pike St, #200)
  • Ballard NW Senior Center (5429 32nd Ave NW)
  • Southeast Seattle Senior Center (4655 South Holly St)
  • The Senior Center of West Seattle (4217 SW Oregon St)
  • South Park Senior Center (8201 10th Ave S)
  • Wallingford Community Senior Center (4649 Sunnyside Ave N, Suite 140)
  • The Central (500 30th Ave S)

Additional resources

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