Hot Weather Help

Heat exposure is a serious matter and can even kill you. It caused 7,233 heat-related deaths in the United States from 1999 to 2009. Most of these were entirely preventable.

The CDC has a great deal of excellent information on their website, and we're happy to direct you there for signs and symptoms of heat-related illness, posters, fact sheets and other resources. But if you simply need basic tips for staying safe and healthy during hot weather, please read on.

Cooling Centers: Washington County currently does not have any official "cooling centers" for the general public. If your home does not have A/C, consider visiting a public library or indoor shopping mall. Older adults can visit local senior centers. You could also go to the movies if it's something you enjoy and can afford.

The County's Severe Weather Shelter Response Plan that serves homeless individuals is activated when we have two or more days when temperatures are above 98 degrees Fahrenheit.

Children Playing In Water

To stay safe and healthy during extremely hot weather:

  • Stay in an air-conditioned indoor location as much as possible. Just a few hours in A/C provides significant health benefits.
  • Drink plenty of fluids (water is best) even if you don’t feel thirsty.
  • Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing and sunscreen.
  • Exercise in the early morning when it tends to be cooler.
  • Avoid strenuous activity in the heat of the day.
  • Take cool showers or baths.
  • Close your blinds and curtains to keep sunlight out.
  • If the temperature falls at night (as it tends to do in Oregon), be sure to open your windows (if it is safe to do so) to let the cool air in.
  • Find a local fountain, play in a sprinkler, etc.
  • Do not rely on a fan as your primary cooling device when it is very hot (over 98 degrees). All you are doing is blowing hot air on yourself. Instead, mist yourself with a spray bottle, and then use the fan to get the cooling benefits of evaporation.
  • Do not use your stove/oven or do laundry on very hot days.
  • Never leave children or pets in cars.
Please stay safe. Remember to keep an eye on your family, friends and neighbors, especially the elderly, people with chronic medical problems, and children, because they are more vulnerable to heat-related illness.