While Houston is experiencing a nice break from the intense summer heat and humidity this week, residents will have more options to keep cool when the temperatures begin to climb.
The City of Houston has designated the Kingwood Community Center (4102 Rustic Woods Dr, Kingwood, TX 77345) as a new cooling center and has partnered with Harris County Precinct 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia to give Houstonians access to five additional facilities, including the Bay Area Community Center (5002 Nasa Pkwy, Seabrook, TX 77586).
“We are currently enjoying a break in the heat and humidity, but it won’t last long,” Mayor Sylvester Turner said. “I want all residents to have a safe place to get relief from the summer heat. The addition of the new centers in Kingwood and Clear Lake will provide more easily accessible cooling centers for residents who might who have no other place to escape the dangerous heat.”
The newly designated locations are in addition to 11 Reliant Energy Beat the Heat Centers located at Houston Health Department multi-service centers. People are also welcome to take advantage of air conditioning at dozens of other public facilities during normal hours.
“During these extreme heat days, it is critical that our most vulnerable have access to a safe and easily accessible space such as a community center to cool off,” Commissioner Adrian Garcia said. “I am pleased to be able to partner with Mayor Turner, and the City of Houston’s Health Department to ensure that our cooling centers are made available to all Harris County residents.”
City Council member Dave Martin represents the Kingwood and Clear Lake areas.
“During the initial roll out of the Beat the Heat facilities District E residents had to drive over 20 minutes to the nearest location, Council Member Martin said. After working with Mayor Turner and Commissioner Garcia’s Office the last couple of weeks I am more than happy that these new locations in District E are more easily accessible to residents. I know that District E residents will greatly appreciate access to these facilities during these hot summer months.”
High body temperatures can lead to damage to the brain or other vital organs and even death. Fifteen people in Houston and Harris County died due to heat-related illnesses in 2018.
Older adults, infants, children, people who are overweight and those with heart and respiratory illnesses are most vulnerable heat-related illness. The Houston Health Department recommends the following precautions:
- Stay hydrated by drinking more water than usual — and don’t wait until you’re thirsty.
- Take breaks if working outdoors. Schedule work in the morning or evening.
- Cool off by going to a cooling center (multi-service centers) or other facility open to the public such as libraries, malls, or community centers if you don’t have air conditioning.
- Check on vulnerable people like young children, older adults and those who live alone.
A list of Reliant Beat the Heat Centers, Houston Public Library locations, Houston Parks and Recreation Community Centers and Harris County Precinct 2 Community Centers is available on the Houston Health Department website.