The City of Houston is activating its Public Health Heat Emergency Plan, providing resources for people to take refuge from extreme heat.
The National Weather Service issued an excessive heat advisory for the Houston region through Monday.
The city activates the plan when the heat index, a calculation of air temperature and humidity, reaches 108 on two consecutive days. The forecast calls for maximum heat index values ranging from 108 to 114 beginning Thursday and into the weekend.
All City of Houston libraries and multi-service centers will function as cooling centers during their normal business hours weekdays and Saturdays. Community centers operated by Houston Parks and Recreation Department will open to the public after the conclusion of daily programming for enrolled participants.
People seeking accommodation due to disability, access or functional need can visit the Metropolitan Multi-Service Center, 1475 W. Gray Street, but everyone is welcome all city sites.
“We all know Houston sometimes can be uncomfortably hot in the summer. I want everyone to understand this forecast calls for heat and humidity that is dangerous and potentially deadly for some of our vulnerable Houstonians. I encourage people to turn on their home’s air conditioners or seek relief at one of our cooling centers. Houstonians should also check on their family members who may need assistance,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner. ‘I want to thank all of our city departments and partners, who are working to activate the heat emergency plan and open the cooling centers.”
Sunday, June 18, and Monday, June 19, 2023
Anyone without air-conditioning can seek shelter at any of the following city buildings designated as cooling centers during the heat emergency. The locations will extend their normal hours and remain open from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday, June 18, and Monday, June 19 (City of Houston Juneteenth holiday).
Tidwell Community Center, 9720 Spaulding St.
Metropolitan Multi-Service Center, 1475 W. Gray St.
Acres Homes Multi-Service Center, 6719 W. Montgomery Rd.
Sunnyside Health and Multi-Service Center, 4410 Reed Rd.
Central Library, 500 McKinney St.
People without adequate transportation to a designated cooling center can call 3-1-1 to request a free ride from METRO or zTrip. Transportation is only to and from the cooling centers; transportation to other locations is unavailable.
The Houston Health Department encourages people to take extra precautions to protect themselves from heat-related illness and death. High-risk groups such as adults ages 55 and older, children under the age of 4, and people with chronic illness or who are either overweight or on certain medications should stay inside air-conditioned buildings between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m., the hottest part of the day.
The department recommends people protect themselves and their families from potentially deadly heat-related illness. It recommends people:
Increase water consumption. Drink lots of liquids even before getting thirsty, but avoid beverages with caffeine, alcohol, or large amounts of sugar because these can result in the loss of body fluid.
Conduct outdoor work or exercise in the early morning or evening when temperatures are not as high. Outdoor workers should drink plenty of water or electrolyte replacement beverages and take frequent breaks in the shade or in an air-conditioned facility. People unaccustomed to working or exercising in a hot environment need to start slowly and gradually increase heat exposure over several weeks.
Wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothing that permits the evaporation of perspiration.
Do not leave infants, children, senior citizens or pets unattended in a parked vehicle, even if the windows are cracked open. Check to make sure everyone is out of the car and don’t overlook children who may have fallen asleep.
Wear a wide-brimmed hat to help prevent sunburn as well as heat-related illness. Apply sunscreen, which protects from the sun’s harmful rays and reduces the risk of sunburn.
Seek accommodations in air-conditioned facilities during the heat of the day if the house is not air-conditioned: a relative’s home, multi-service centers, malls, movie theaters, libraries, etc.
Take frequent cool baths or showers if your home is not air-conditioned.
Symptoms of heat exhaustion include weakness, dizziness, excessive sweating, cool or moist skin, nausea or vomiting, muscle cramps, and a fast and weak pulse. People experiencing these symptoms should lower their body temperature by getting to a cooler place, drinking water, taking a cool shower or bath and resting.
A throbbing headache, red, hot, and dry skin (no longer sweating), extremely high body temperature (above 103°), nausea or vomiting, confusion, loss of consciousness and a rapid, strong pulse are signs of heat stroke. If these symptoms occur, call 9-1-1 immediately and try to lower the person’s body temperature until help arrives.
People may seek air-conditioning in city multi-service centers, libraries and recreation centers during normal business hours, even when the Public Health Heat Emergency Plan is not activated.
To find the nearest cooling center location or an air-conditioned city facility, people can call 3-1-1 for more information.
City multi-service centers and libraries are listed below.
Acres Homes Multi-Service Center 6719 W. Montgomery Rd. Houston, Texas 77091-3105
Alief Neighborhood Center 11903 Bellaire Blvd. Houston, Texas 77072-2310
Denver Harbor Multi-Service Center 6402 Market St. Houston, Texas 77020-6840
Fifth Ward Multi-Service Center 4014 Market St. Houston, Texas 77020-4129
Hiram Clarke Multi-Service Center 3810 W. Fuqua St. Houston, Texas 77045-6402
Kashmere Multi-Service Center 4802 Lockwood Dr. Houston, Texas 77026-2941
Magnolia Multi-Service Center 7037 Capitol St. Houston, Texas 77011-4643
Northeast Multi-Service Center 9720 Spaulding St. Houston, Texas 77016-4841
Southwest Multi-Service Center 6400 High Star Dr. Houston, Texas 77074-5006
Sunnyside Health and Multi-Service Center 4410 Reed Road Houston, Texas 77051-2718
Third Ward Multi-Service Center 3611 Ennis St. Houston, Texas 77004-4407
West End Multi-Service Center 170 Heights Blvd. Houston, Texas 77020-3729
Acres Homes Library 8501 West Montgomery Houston, TX 77088