Kids play at a misting station in Knott Park, July 2021
Outside misting stations are a great, accessible way to help passersby cool down.

During most hot days, agencies promote existing cool spaces such as libraries and city pools. But when the forecast calls for excessive heat, the County, following federal guidance, may issue health warnings or open cooling spaces. 

Community groups interested in opening a cooling space indoors should visit Multnomah County's Thinking of Opening a Cooling Location resource page for more information. 

Before you decide

Organizations interested in hosting a misting station should consult the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration's page about how to keep your own staff safe.

Opening a misting station takes some coordination. Before you decide, find out if there is already a splash pad or emergency misting station near you. To help determine if your misting station is needed, visit Multnomah County’s interactive map of cool spaces, or call 2-1-1 to learn about existing resources near your location.

If you find that there is already a cool location near you, consider spreading the word about it or volunteering to help. Opportunities to volunteer will be posted on

When to offer a misting station

Oregon weather is at its hottest during the afternoon, usually from about 4 to 9 p.m. That’s when a misting station can be really helpful, giving bodies a chance to cool down. 

To ensure visitors enjoy the misting station safely, pay particular attention to people who might be more vulnerable to the heat, including:

  • Older adults
  • Infants and children
  • People with chronic medical conditions
  • Athletes
  • Outdoor workers
  • People who are unsheltered
  • Pets

Learn the signs and symptoms of heat illness and know how to respond:

  1. Call 9-1-1 if you suspect heat stroke.
  2. Move the person to a cooler place.
  3. Help lower the person’s temperature with a cool cloth or a cool (not cold) bath.

Equipping your space

Misting stations are most useful in an area large enough for a canopy tent. A shaded area under a large tree or behind a building works well. Additionally, you'll need a hose spigot. A grassy area is ideal; paved areas can become slippery when wet, while dirt can turn to mud.

Consider these basic supplies to offer your own misting station:

  • A canopy or pop-up tent with weight bags.
  • Chairs that can get wet.
  • Misting hoses. You may be able to make a hose using PVC pipe and irrigation nozzles, or you can purchase one online. Hoses should be drained each day. If left for a long period of time, they should be flushed with a bleach-and-water solution before use.
  • Zip ties or some other way to secure misting hoses above ground level.

You may also want to consider other supplies, such as a cooler stocked with ice and bottled water, along with hand sanitizer, sunscreen, cooling towels, popsicles, a dog water dish, and/or electrolyte packets.

Closing down

Consider posting hours of operation and communicating with visitors as they arrive. If a visitor needs information about other resources outside your operating hours, call 2-1-1 or visit the County’s interactive map of cool spaces to find alternative spaces nearby.

Spread the word

If you decide to open a location of your own, let people know!

Organizations interested in being included in the County’s online map of cool places can fill out this form. Someone will reach out to confirm the information provided and to answer any questions. If the information you submitted changes, please reach out immediately to: 503-307-4129. 

Misting stations promoted by the County must provide services free of charge and place no requirements on guests, such as promotion of religion or prayer or any cost for entry. Organizations are also encouraged to follow recommended hours of operation (staying open until at least 9 p.m), and to stay open for all promoted days and hours of operation.

Locations that place no religious or other requirements on guests can also be placed on the 211info website by contacting: