City of Seattle amps up resources to help residents beat the heat

SEATTLE — As the Pacific Northwest gets ready for a blast of heat, the City of Seattle is opening doors that have been closed since the onset of the pandemic to provide heat relief resources.

With an Excessive Heat Warning and record-breaking temperatures in the forecast, the City of Seattle is putting heat-related resources into high gear.

“It’s going to be hot, it’s going to be really hot,” Mayor Jenny Durkan said during a press conference Thursday afternoon.

On Monday, the National Weather Service (NWS) has a forecasted high temperature of 104 degrees — that would break the city’s all-time record of 103 degrees set in 2009.

“This is an unprecedented event,” said a NWS spokesperson. “Those of us with National Weather Service in Seattle have never seen forecast data like this before.”

Thursday afternoon, Mayor Durkan gathered representatives from several city departments to address how each would contribute in preparing and handling the high temperatures.

“This is going to require all of us working together,” the mayor said.

By providing a wide array of services and resources, the goal is to give residents heat-related resources that fit their needs.

The city is opening several facilities that have been closed since the onset of the pandemic to act as “cooling centers” which can be used for AC, shade and water.

Those places include community centers, public libraries and senior centers.

For those experiencing homelessness, the city is opening a 24-hour shelter at Fisher Pavilion (that’s in addition to the shelter at Exhibition Hall).

Seattle Fire Department will also launch two mobile health units to provide water and welfare checks to those on the streets.

“We are still in a bad pandemic, so we still have PPE supplies ready and available,” said Phillip Sanders with Finance and Administrative Services. “We have also strategically placed supplies readily available at places around the city so that we have easy access to it during this event.”

The city has also partnered with area malls and movie theaters to provide discounts for shoppers who are trying to escape the heat.

When it comes to outdoor activities, Seattle Parks and Recreation is opening splash pads and wading pools. They’re also working to get more drinking fountains up and running.

On Wednesday KIRO-7 reported 80% of city park fountains were not functioning. When asked about a plan to turn them on, the mayor said the goal is to get at least a hundred flowing by the weekend (there are a total of 210 fountains).

The city will continue to assess the situation as the heat wave progresses.

“My one message is, please everybody take care of each other,” Mayor Durkan said. “Be smart, drink lots of water, don’t overexert yourself, stay in the shade.”

The hours and locations for Seattle resources can be found on the city’s website.

You can also find a complete list of resources that are available in the North Sound here.