Excessive Heat Warning: Cooling Centers Open, Heat Safety Information (Updated 7/29)

Last updated: July 29, 2022 11:00 AM

The National Weather Service has extended an Excessive Heat Warning for Seattle through Sunday, 7/31. High temperatures in the low-to-mid 90s and low temperatures in the mid-to-high 60s will continue through the weekend, allowing for little overnight cooling. Extreme heat can cause illness and worsen existing health conditions.  

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. 

Heat Safety 

We encourage everyone in Seattle to take extreme heat seriously and act with caution this week. You can take 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. 
  • Use life jackets or other flotation devices on the water to prevent drowning. Never swim alone.
  • 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.  

For more information from Public Health – Seattle & King County about heat safety, including information in multiple languages, visit KingCounty.gov/BeatTheHeat.

For information about water safety, visit the Seattle Fire Department blog for tips on boating safety and how to assist someone in the water needing help.

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. Maps of the spaces listed below are available on Google Maps and Seattle GIS.

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.

Due to the extreme heat in the region, the Library will pre-emptively close eight non-air-conditioned branches from Thursday, July 28, through Sunday, July 31 and open some air-conditioned branches that were previously scheduled to be closed. This will provide additional cooling centers for the community throughout the weekend.

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

Community Centers 

Four Seattle Community Centers have air conditioning and will be open as spaces to cool off. 

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

  • Friday: Lobby & programs open normal business hours (10 AM to 6:30 PM)
  • Saturday: Lobby open normal business hours (10:30 AM to 5 PM)

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

  • Friday: Lobby & programs open normal business hours (11 AM to 9 PM)
  • Saturday: Lobby & programs open normal business hours (10 AM to 5 PM)

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

  • Friday: Lobby & programs open normal business hours (9:00 AM to 7:00 PM)
  • Saturday: Closed

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

  • Friday, and Saturday: Cooling center open 2:00 PM – 8:00 PM. Pets welcome in crate or on leash.

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, Friday 9:30 AM – 6 PM, and Saturday 2:30 PM – 5:30 PM; well-behaved small dogs permitted; 206-297-0875 (masks are required indoors when not actively eating or drinking)
  • 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)

Seattle Center Armory Food & Event Hall

Seattle Center Armory Food & Event Hall is open as a cooling center during regular hours of operation, daily from 7:00am – 8:00pm.

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.  

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 a list of indoor daytime cooling spaces and outdoor cooling and outreach tents operated in partnership with KCRHA municipal and provider partners, visit 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 are staffing so crews are positioned to respond.

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: 

This post will be updated throughout the week as needed with new information, updated operations for cooling centers, and other resources.