City officials activate heat emergency plan, open cooling centers

HOUSTON – City of Houston officials activated its Public Health Emergency Plan and provided cooling centers Sunday for people who need assistance escaping the heat.

The cooling centers are for those without air conditioning. The following centers are open Sunday from 1 p.m. until 6 p.m.:

  • Acres Homes Multi-Service Center: 6719 W Montgomery Road
  • Kashmere Multi-Service Center: 4802 Lockwood Drive
  • Southwest Multi-Service Center: 6400 High Star Drive
  • Sunnyside Multi-Service Center: 9314 Cullen Boulevard
  • Houston Public Library (Downtown): 500 McKinney Street

People who are in need of transportation are asked to call 311 to request a free ride from METRO, officials said.

A heat advisory was issued Saturday. The hottest temperatures will happen between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.

People who must be outside during the advisory should take frequent breaks in the shade or in A/C, and stay hydrated by drinking plenty of noncaffeinated and nonalcoholic beverages.

Similar weather is forecast for the remainder of the weekend as well. More advisories are expected.

Mayor Sylvester Turner said that the extreme heat is something he doesn't take lightly and that's why the city opted to open the cooling stations over the weekend. 

"Its too dangerous to wait and you don’t want to have any regrets," Turner said. "Come Monday or Tuesday and we see that we need more in other parts of the city, we are prepared to open even more."

What is a Heat Advisory?

A heat advisory is issued to warn the public of dangerously high "feels like" temperatures. 

When feels-like temperatures hit 108 degrees or hotter, then a heat advisory is issued. The combination of high heat and humidity can be deadly or cause heat illness.

On a hot day, people sweat and their sweat evaporates, helping to lower their internal body temperature.

When humidity is high, sweat does not evaporate as efficiently and it is harder to keep cool.

It is important to limit time outside during the afternoon and find air conditioning to stay cool.

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