MAP: Find your nearest cooling center in Houston

By James Grant

HOUSTON - Houstonians who need a way to beat the heat this summer can visit any of the 11 cooling centers that have been opened in the city thanks to Reliant Energy.

The centers will be open until the end of September, according to Elizabeth Killinger, a Reliant executive. They are free and open to the public and will provide bottled water, snacks and entertainment, in addition to air conditioning.

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“This summer, demand for electricity in Texas is expected to be at an all-time high,” Killinger said.

Reliant, which is part of the city of Houston’s Summer AC program, will be providing portable air conditioners and a total of 150 portable power stations to those in the area who need power.

Killinger added that Reliant’s goal is to “power, protect and simplify life” for its customers.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner expressed gratitude for Reliant’s assistance.

“I can’t say enough about Reliant being a strong community partner in the city of Houston,” Turner said.

Turner also said there are many people still recovering from Hurricane Harvey and pointed out the importance of the portable power stations.

“A lot of people are still rebuilding, and they need air conditioning," Turner said. "These things come in handy, especially when your power goes out.”

Turner said Reliant is now extending its program to 11 community centers. He also offered some advice on staying cool and safe under the hot Texas sun.

“If you have to go outside, don’t do it during the hottest part of the day,” Turner said. “It’s very important that we drink many fluids (and) wear lighter clothing.”

Houston Mayor Pro Tem Ellen Cohen urged Houstonians to take care of themselves in the heat.

“We have to be careful that we take care of our pets, but most importantly, we must take care of each other,” Cohen said.

Deborah Moore, of the Harris County Area Agency on Aging, urged anyone in need of a portable air conditioner or portable power station to contact the agency at 832-393-4301.

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