In a first-of-its-kind intervention for heat, the city of Portland and Multnomah County Thursday began sending an automated phone message to all Multnomah County landlines, listed and unlisted, as well as to mobile numbers associated with a utility bill and to people who have opted into the Public Alert system.
Although the heat this week will not be as extreme as late June, the goal is to more broadly reach people who could potentially be at higher risk due to age and isolation. This short phone message urges caution. The calls will likely occur in geographic batches and may contain different information depending on a resident’s proximity to a specific cooling center.
You can sign up to receive these and other health and safety alerts at publicalerts.org/signup.
Also on Thursday cooling centers will open and some Multnomah County libraries will extend their hours as temperatures near triple digits in the Portland metro region Thursday and Friday. The City of Portland is also opening outdoor misting centers, in addition to splash pads and pools.
Open noon to 9 p.m. July 29-30. Pets welcome
Multnomah County East Building, 600 NE 8th Street Gresham
Sunrise Center, 18901 E Burnside St, Portland
Portland Community Centers and Misting Centers
Portland Building, 1120 SW 5th St., Portland
Matt Dishman Community Center, 77 NE Knott St., Portland
Charles Jordan Community Center, 9009 North Foss Ave., Portland
The City of Portland is also opening outdoor misting centers:
Extended hours at some locations.
Capitol Hill, 10723 SW Capitol Hwy, Portland, Thursday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Fairview-Columbia, 1520 NE Village St. Fairview, Thursday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m; Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Gregory Heights, 7921 NE Sandy Blvd., Portland, Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Gresham, 385 NW Miller Ave., Gresham, Thursday 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Hillsdale, 1525 SW Sunset Blvd, Portland, Thursday 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Holgate, 7905 SE Holgate Blvd, Portland, Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Hollywood, 4040 NE Tillamook St., Portland, Thursday 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Kenton, 8226 N Denver Ave, Portland, Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Midland, 805 SE 122nd Ave, Portland, Thursday 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
North Portland, 512 N Killingsworth St, Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Northwest, 2300 NW Thurman St., Thursday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Rockwood, 17917 SE Stark St., Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
St. Johns, 7510 N Charleston Ave., Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Troutdale, 2451 SW Cherry Park Rd., Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- Woodstock, 6008 SE 49th Ave., Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Multnomah County is working to provide transportation help through public transportation, Ride Share and cabs to and from the cooling centers. People can call 211 if they need assistance getting to a center.
People who rely on public transit can find links to cooling center locations on Trimet’s online TripPlanner. Riders who have questions about Trimet’s hot weather plans can dial 503-238-7433.
Homeless Services Outreach
Also today, the Joint Office will reactivate the comprehensive, countywide outreach response that successfully distributed more than 66,000 bottles of water during June’s historic heat disaster. More than 60 organizations participated, including mutual aid groups and county-funded outreach teams. Individual neighbors also participated and are encouraged to reach out again.
The Joint Office’s downtown supply center at SW 5th and Washington will be open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. today through Saturday for community members who can make appointments to pick up water to distribute to neighbors without shelter.
People do not need to be part of a registered nonprofit to make an appointment for water or cooling supplies. Those kinds of supplies are always available to a wide variety of organizations. On Thursday and Friday, contact Carol Bethard or Richard Gilliam at the Joint Office to make appointments. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 503-310-7210.
Short, but still concerning
Unlike the historical heatwave in June, this week’s highs are unlikely to reach much beyond 100 during the day, and temperatures are expected to drop at night, allowing bodies to recover and homes to cool. This heat event is also expected to be shorter, with temperatures dropping again by the weekend.
“And now, five weeks into summer, our bodies are more acclimated to the heat,” said Environmental Health's Brendon Haggerty.
But that doesn’t mean this heat isn’t a concern. People with certain health conditions and people spending time outside do need to be careful, Haggerty said.
“One thing we often see during this type of event is that people who are working outside or exercising during the heat of the day are more likely to need medical attention,” he said. “So it’s important to limit those types of activities to the cooler morning hours.”
Environmental Health recommends people still take precautions, especially during the hottest part of the day and especially people who might be more vulnerable to heat.
Haggerty recommended that people open windows and doors when temperatures are cool overnight and into the early morning hours. Then close the house and curtains to keep the space cooler.
Never to leave anyone in a parked car, even in the shade with windows cracked.
Anyone planning to spend time outdoors should do so during the coolest times of day.
If employers have indoor duties or lighter duties, it’s a good time to assign those; For employees who need to work outdoors, employers should make sure workers have lots of water and a cool place to take breaks.
For anyone who plans time outdoors:
Drink more water than normal
Avoid alcohol and sugary drinks
Wear lightweight, loose and light-colored clothing
Take frequent breaks
Watch out for each other
Check on family, friends and neighbors who might be especially vulnerable to the heat, including seniors, people taking mental health medications and people with heart disease, high blood pressure and other chronic health conditions.
People experiencing homelessness and others who must be outdoors during excessive heat are at particular risk of heat illness.
Carry extra water in case you see someone who needs a drink.
If a person looks disoriented or confused, they might be suffering from the effects of heat. Help them move to a cooler place and consider dialing 9-1-1.
Keep pets cool
If it’s possible, bring your pets inside, if the space is cooler than outdoors. If your animals stay outside, make sure they have shade and access to plenty of water. Consider turning on a sprinkler or filling a kiddie pool for your animals.
If you have to run errands, leave your pets at home.