www.houstontx.gov > Health Dept. > News Releases > Houston continues activation of heat emergency plan


Contacts: Kathy Barton 713-794-9998 and Porfirio Villarreal 713-794-9021

Houston activates heat emergency plan; Five branch libraries designated as cooling centers

The City of Houston has activated its Heat Emergency Plan. The National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory for Southeast Texas due to expected high heat and humidity over the weekend. 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-related illness and death. High-risk groups such as adults age 55 and older, children under the age of five and people with chronic illness are urged to stay inside air-conditioned buildings between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m., the hottest part of the day.  

The Houston Department of Health and Human Services (HDHHS) recommends that people living without air conditioning take refuge from the heat at any of the Houston Public Library branches designated as cooling centers.

Cooling centers and their addresses, phone numbers and hours of operation are: 

Collier Regional
6200 Pinemont, 832-393-1740
Monday and Tuesday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Henington-Alief Regional
7979 South Kirkwood, 832-393-1820
Monday and Tuesday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

5830 Westheimer, 832-393-1860
Monday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Tuesday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.;
McGovern–Stella Link

7405 Stella Link, 832-393-2630
Monday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Tuesday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.;

Scenic Woods Regional
10677 Homestead, 832-393-2030
Monday and Tuesday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Note: days and hours were taken from the Houston Public Library's website.

Houstonians needing transportation assistance may call 311, the city’s information line, and ask for the nearest cooling center. Metro will provide transportation to the cooling centers.            

To avoid heat-related illnesses:

  • Drink lots of liquids even before getting thirsty, but avoid those with caffeine, alcohol or large amounts of sugar because these can actually result in the loss of body fluid.
  • Conduct exercise or outdoor work in the early morning or evening when it is cooler. Remember to take frequent breaks during strenuous activity.
  • People without air conditioning can visit a cooling center. When temperatures reach the high 90s, using electric fans without an air-conditioner only spurs the movement of hot humid air, accelerating body heating and raising internal body temperature. Taking frequent cool baths or showers is a much better way to minimize effects from the heat.
  • Wear light-colored, loose fitting clothing that permits the evaporation of perspiration.
  • Never leave a person or a pet inside a closed, parked car during hot weather.
  • Stay alert to heat advisories issued by the National Weather Service.

This news release was issued on August 13, 2007.