News Release

8/31/00

Houston Activates High Heat Emergency Plan

The City of Houston has activated it’s Heat Emergency Plan. The National Weather Service issued a heat advisory for southeast Texas, Thursday, August 31. A heat advisory is issued when the heat index, a computation of the air temperature and humidity, reaches 108 degrees for two consecutive days.

During a Heat Emergency, everyone is urged to take extra precaution to protect themselves from heat illness and death. High risk groups, children under the age of five; adults age 55 and up; and people with chronic illness are urged to stay in air-conditioning at least during the hottest part of the day. Anyone living without air-conditioning is welcome to seek air-conditioned shelter at any City of Houston library, Parks and Recreation facility or Health Department multi-service center.

People involved in outdoor labor or recreation should also consider altering their schedule to reduce heat exposure during the hottest part of the day. Prolonged heat exposure or strenuous physical activity may result in heat cramps, heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Outdoor workers should drink plenty of water or electrolyte replacement beverages and rest frequently in the shade or in an air-conditioned facility.

Houstonians needing transportation assistance to a city cooling center may call 713-837-0600 and ask for cooling centers. Transportation provided by Metro is available to 13 regional cooling centers. The cooling centers are:

Acres Homes Library 8501 W. Montgomery Rd. Mon 12N-9PM; Tue-Sat 10AM-6PM

Alief Library 7979 South Kirkwood Mon-Thur 10AM-9PM, Fri-Sat 10AM-6PM; Sun 2-6PM

Central Library 500 McKinney Mon-Fri 9PM-9PM, Sat 9AM-6PM; Sun 2-6PM

Collier Library 6200 Pinemont Mon-Thur 10AM-9PM; Fri-Sat 10AM-6PM; Sun 2-6PM

Morris Frank Library 6440 West Belfort Mon & Thur 12N-9PM; Tue 10AM-9PM; Wed, Fri & Sat 10AM-6PM

Heights Library 1302 Heights Blvd. Mon & Thurs 12N-9PM; Tue, Wed, Fri & Sat 10AM-6PM

Jungman Library 5830 Westheimer Mon-Thur 10AM-9PM; Fri-Sat 10AM-6PM; Sun 2-6PM

Kashmere Library 5411 Pardee Mon & Thur 12N-9PM; Tue 10AM-9PM; Wed, Fri & Sat 10AM-6PM

Montrose Library 4100 Montrose Blvd Mon &Thur 12N-9PM; Tue, Wed, Fri & Sat 10AM-6PM

Park Place Library 8145 Park Place Mon-Thur 10AM-9PM; Fri & Sat 10AM-6PM; Sun 2-6PM

Robinson Westchase Lib. 3223 Wilcrest Mon & Thur 12N-9PM; Tue 10AM-9PM; Wed, Fri & Sat 10AM-6PM

Stanaker Library 611 South Sgt. Macario Garcia Blvd. Mon & Thur 12N-9PM; Tue, Wed, Fri & Sat 10AM-6PM

Vinson Library 3100 West Fuqua Mon & Thu 12N-9PM; Tue 10AM-9PM; Wed, Fri & Sat 10AM-6PM

There have been 26 confirmed heat related deaths in Harris County since May 21, 2000. During the summers of 1998 and 1999, there were 22 and 21 heat deaths respectively.

Other important heat advice

• During times of excessive heat, senior citizens are strongly encouraged to run their air conditioning or go to an air-conditioned facility for some part of the day. Air conditioning reduces the stress placed on the heart by excessive heat.

• Never run an indoor fan without air-conditioning when the indoor air temperature is over 85 degrees. Fans cannot change the temperature and accelerating hot, humid air can accelerate the onset of heat illness.

• Never leave any living thing (kids, senior citizens or pets) in a closed car during the summer.