Multnomah County Department of Human Services’ Aging and DisabilityServices Division (ADS) will activate its cooling center system for elderly residents beginning Sunday, July 14. The centers are expected to remain open at least through Thursday, July 17.
Here are the Cooling Centers and their extended hours for elderly residents:
• NORTHEAST PORTLAND: Hollywood Senior Center, 1820 NE 40th Ave. Portland, 503-288-8303. Sunday: 4 pm-8 pm. Monday-Thursday, 8:30 am-8 pm.
• DOWNTOWN: Meals on Wheels People (Elm Court) 1032 SW Main St., Portland, 503-953-8204: Sunday: 10 am - 8 pm. Monday-Thursday, 8:30 am-8 pm.
• NORTH PORTLAND: Pioneer United Methodist Church, 7528 N. Charleston Ave., Portland. Tuesday and Wednesday 4 pm - 8 pm.
• EAST COUNTY: Ambleside Meals on Wheels People, Multnomah County East Building, 600 NE 8th St., Gresham, 503-988-3840. Sunday, 4 pm -8 pm, Monday-Thursday, 8 am - 8 pm.
These centers for elderly residents are activated based on weather conditions. When the forecast calls for three or more days of 95 degree or greater temperatures, county and community partners evaluate the need for cooling centers.
Although heat waves kill more people than tornadoes, hurricanes, and flooding combined, there is no exact science regarding what temperature is deadly hot. Age, medications, and other factors create a complicated matrix for determining when a cooling center becomes a lifeline. Fortunately for Multnomah County, cooling centers are a service provided by a coalition of organizations and agencies that care about our vulnerable populations and who voluntarily step forward to offer these centers as a way to protect our citizens. Anybody who wishes to volunteer at a cooling center or provide donations in support of the centers’ important work may contact the centers directly.For information on Cooling Centers in your community. you may contact the agency listed below or the ADS Helpline (503-988-3646).
What can you do during extreme weather?
With temperatures expected to soar into the mid and upper 90’s this weekend, and the promise of more summer weather ahead, it is time to prepare yourself, your loved ones, and your friends and neighbors. Pay attention to older adults, people with disabilities or health conditions. Check on those who are at-risk at least twice a day. Consider inviting them to join you window shopping at a local air conditioned mall, or to catch an afternoon movie, or to visit your local library (https://multcolib.org/hours-and-locations).
Another method for staying cool is to slow down. Reduce or reschedule strenuous activities until the heat of the day has passed. Think about hanging out in the shade and dress for the weather, wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing to reflect heat and sunlight.
Staying hydrated means drinking plenty of water. Over 2 liters per day is the current recommendation, during hot weather, drink more water than usual will help prevent dehydration. Symptoms of dehydration include nausea and vomiting. Dehydration can also become life threatening.
Bookmark the Multnomah County Aging and Disability Services website http://multco.us/ads and keep a copy of the Helpline number handy. The Helpline has resources for older adults and people with disabilities, including a list of senior centers, transportation services and 24-hour crisis intervention. Call 503-988-3646 or TTY at 711.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC has an excellent website with extreme heat information (http://www.cdc.gov/extremeheat/index.html) that is worth a visit, and local 211 posts the status and hours of operation for cooling center activation throughout the season (http://211info.org/)
Another great way to stay informed is to visit www.PublicAlerts.org. PublicAlerts is an online connection for residents in the county to receive real-time emergency information. This site also offers an additional needs registry. This is a fantastic and easy way to stay informed and includes notifications regarding alerts and service disruptions involving roads and bridges, transit, public health, public safety, utilities, community services, schools and weather.