Brian Walker, Communications Manager, 509.655.1387 & Amanda Donovan, Director of Marketing and Communications, 509.444.5319
Friday, July 14, 2023 at 10:53 a.m.
Resources are available and being collected in Spokane to help people cool off during the predicted extreme heat this coming weekend.
Six Spokane Public Library locations throughout the city and the Trent Resource and Assistance Center (TRAC) are available to provide indoor cooling areas for anyone seeking relief from hot daytime temperatures being forecast by the National Weather Service in the upper 90s on Saturday and Sunday.
Library locations include: Central (906 W. Main St.), Shadle Park (2111 W. Wellesley Ave.), Liberty Park (402 S. Pittsburg St.), Hillyard (4110 N. Cook St.), South Hill Library (3324 S. Perry St.) and Indian Trail (4909 W. Barnes Road). Libraries are open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday-Saturday; noon-4 p.m. Sunday; and 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Thursday. The library locations have the capacity to serve 2,118 adults and children throughout the City.
TRAC, 4320 E. Trent Ave., offers cool space with industrial fans, three meals a day, supplemental hydration resources and snacks for those seeking shelter during heat waves. TRAC also offers wrap-around services for those in need. Shelters throughout the city report their occupancy data on the sheltermespokane.org website, where resources are also listed. Capacity at TRAC can be flexed to serve as many as 400 people during hazardous weather.
Spokane Regional Health District offers guidance for extreme heat as well as outdoor activities on its website. Heat was the leading weather-related cause of deaths in the nation in 2022, according to NWS.
City code states cooling areas for homeless individuals should be available when temperatures are forecast by NWS to reach 95 degrees or higher for two or more days, but anyone is welcome to access the resources.
Cool spaces, hydration resources, restrooms, and wi-fi connectivity are available in all spaces serving as cooling areas. In addition, libraries offer books, interactive play areas, programs and neighborhood accessibility.
“All individuals who need a safe place from the heat are welcome,” Mayor Nadine Woodward said.
Spokane Transit Authority will offer fare exceptions to riders going to and from a cooling space when the temperature is 95 degrees or above. If a passenger boards a bus and indicates they do not have fare payment, and that they are traveling to a cooling area, STA will allow them to ride for free. This practice remains in effect for same-day return trips during evening hours even after the temperature drops below 95 degrees. Cooling areas are accessible by most Spokane Transit routes.
Additionally, The Salvation Army offers vans that can meet people where they are at and help them connect to local shelters. Call 509-280-6860 or 509-280-6894 for a ride.
The City has secured donations of products for the cooling areas, but additional donations of bottled water, Gatorade/Powerade, other caffeine-free hydration drinks, mini sunscreen products and single pack snacks are needed for future extreme weather events. Powder that is mixed with water goes farther than pre-mixed hydration drinks. Those interested in donating can email Director of Emergency Management Sarah Nuss at email@example.com. Donations are being accepted on weekdays this month and throughout August.
“These items help keep our community members in need hydrated in the heat, as well as protected from the sun when outdoors,” Nuss said.
Meals on Wheels Spokane, 1222 W. Second Ave., is accepting new or unopened fans for homebound senior citizens.
Malls and Spokane Parks & Recreation splash pads are other great places to cool down for free. The splash pads are operational daily from 9 a.m.-8 p.m. at 19 parks. Most parks also have drinking fountains to access water. The public amenities in Riverfront Park can offer indoor places to cool down while visiting; for daily hours, visit the Riverfront calendar.
The City is in conversations with other community organizations regarding additional resources during heat waves.
Extreme heat significantly increases the potential for heat exhaustion or heat stroke, particularly for those working or participating in outdoor activities, as well as the potential for fire to spread quickly. Residents without air conditioners will experience a build-up of heat within their home. This high-risk heat can be especially problematic for those who are heat sensitive and those without effective cooling and/or adequate hydration.
Children and seniors, those experiencing homelessness, people with chronic illnesses, and people who take certain medications, such as blood pressure medications and even antihistamines, are especially at risk for problems with hot weather.
Emergency responders will check on people who are outside during hazardous weather.
The community is encouraged to take advantage of these facilities and their amenities as well as check on neighbors, friends, and family during heat waves. If you can help someone, please do. Residents are urged to drink water, wear light-colored clothing, apply sunscreen and to not leave kids or pets in vehicles.
Additional resources and information are available through:
The City continues to monitor National Weather Service Spokane information and will respond according to the level of severity designated in its Emergency Management protocols as conditions change.