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City of Seattle Shares Heat Safety Resources

The City of Seattle is working together with our regional partners to plan and prepare for potential heat waves this summer, including monitoring critical infrastructure and air quality, and providing resources to help keep residents cool. In the event of extreme heat, cooling centers will be available across the city and outreach teams will support our most vulnerable residents to prevent heat illness in these extreme conditions.  

Heat Safety  

We encourage everyone in Seattle to take heat seriously and act with caution. You can take simple steps to help prevent heat related illness and death. Learn more here.  

  • Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water before you feel thirsty. 
  • Stay cool: Shut blinds or draw curtains at home, use fans or air-conditioners if you can.  
  • Help others: Check on your neighbors, friends, and family in the area – particularly seniors and people with medical conditions – to ensure they are not suffering heat illness at home. 
  • Stay indoors: Avoid outdoor activities if possible during the hottest part of the day from 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM.  
  • Be water safe: Use life jackets or other flotation devices on the water. Never swim alone and always supervise children in or near water.  
  • Avoid cold water shock: If swimming, be aware of water temperatures. Even though the air may be hot, the water is still cold in local rivers and lakes and can cause hypothermia and drowning. 
  • Practice prevention: Help prevent brush fires from occurring by properly discarding smoking materials and ensuring vehicles don’t cause sparks on roadways. 
  • Protect pets: Don’t leave pets unattended, keep them hydrated, and limit exercise. For a full list of pet safety tips, please visit the animal shelter’s website.   

If you live or work in Seattle, Alert Seattle is the city’s official emergency alert system. Sign up at to receive text, email, or phone alerts when an emergency is happening near you. Visit the Seattle Office of Emergency Management for tips on getting prepared and being safe during an emergency.  

For more information from about heat safety from King County, visit and

For information about water safety, visit the Seattle Fire Department blog for tips on boating safety and how to assist someone in the water needing help. 

Staying Cool 

People are welcome to visit City libraries, community centers, and water facilities to stay cool during regular business hours. Many local businesses also offer air-conditioned spaces.  

During an extreme heat event, specific facilities may be activated as cooling centers with adjusted hours, while others may be closed.  


The Central Library and 20 neighborhood branches of The Seattle Public Library have air conditioning. Everyone is welcome to come in, cool down and stay hydrated during open hours. Please be aware that some Library buildings without air conditioning may close early for the comfort and safety of patrons and staff. Please visit before your visit to learn about any early closures or adjusted hours. 

Parks, Community Centers, and Water Recreation  

Parks and Recreation Community Centers are open during regular business hours as a space to cool off, check hours here.  

Current centers with air-conditioning are:

Seattle offers a variety of pools, spray parks, wading pools, lifeguarded beaches, and other recreational sites. For a full listing of these sites and their hours of operation, check the website for pools and for other outdoor water recreation sites.  

Seattle Center 

Seattle Center Armory Food & Event Hall is open as a cooling center during regular hours of summer operation, daily from 7:00am – 9:00pm. 

Union Station

The Union Station Great Hall will be open through Tuesday, July 9 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m as a cooling center. The Great Hall is located at 401 S. Jackson St. in Seattle, and has air-conditioning as well as tables and benches for seating, restrooms, and water fountains. The building is accessible via the Link 1 Line Chinatown/International District Station, the Seattle Streetcar First Hill line and multiple ST Express and King County Metro bus routes running on Fourth Avenue South, South Jackson Street and other nearby streets. More information from Sound Transit.

Helping Neighbors 

The City and partners activate additional resources during extreme heat to help people who may not have somewhere cool to go or need emergency assistance. Residents can also play an important role in extreme heat by checking on neighbors, family, and friends in the area – particularly seniors and people with medical conditions who may be vulnerable to heat illness.  

Resources for People Experiencing Homelessness   

The King County Regional Homelessness Authority (KCRHA) manages the overall emergency response for unsheltered people in Seattle and the King County region, including coordination for emergency preparations and planning. KCRHA is activating Severe Weather protocols from July 5-14, in accordance with it’s Severe Weather Policy. Due to variation in the forecast and HeatRisk, KCRHA will be changing activation levels as such:  

  • July 5: Tier 2/Orange  
  • July 6-9: Tier 3/Red 
  • July 10-14: Tier 2/Orange 

During Tier 2 Heat & Smoke activations, the KCRHA: 

  • Disseminates key public health information for at-risk groups  
  • Distributes water and cooling supplies to service providers  
  • Partners with jurisdictions to selectively activate cooling spaces  
  • Contacts service providers to ensure their HVAC and ice-making systems are working properly  

Tier 3 activations include Tier 2 activities, and the KCRHA:  

  • Implements targeted outreach for the hottest subregions of King County  
  • Stands up cooling tents areas where high-risk groups congregate  
  • Conducts wellness checks  
  • Seeks opportunities to partner with service providers to expand hours for cooling spaces 

 For the latest updates and cooling center information for people experiencing homelessness, please visit: 

The Unified Care Team outreach will be in the field on Friday, July 5; Monday, July 8; and Tuesday, July 9 providing water, sharing information on cooling center locations, and making referrals into shelters.  

Seattle Fire Department 

The Seattle Fire Department will be prepared to respond to any heat-related medical emergencies and fires. If you or someone you observe is showing signs of heat stroke, call 9-1-1 immediately (temperature above 103 degrees, nausea or vomiting, loss of consciousness, rapid and strong pulse, throbbing headache/confusion, no sweating).  

The Seattle Fire Department’s Health One team will operate during the hot weather stretch on weekdays, focusing on assisting outreach partners, coordinating transport of some individuals to cooling centers and providing proactive outreach to clients the unit serves. All Health One rigs are supplied with ice, cold beverages and other items for heat emergencies.  

Protecting Infrastructure 

The City has resiliency and response plans in place to ensure that key infrastructure remains operational during extreme heat events. Response crews are available if you experience issues related to roads, electricity, water, or waste collection.  

Seattle Department of Transportation 

Extreme heat can damage our roads as expanding pavement gets pushed up creating “buckles” in the road. Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) crews are standing ready to respond to road damage and will prioritize repairs based on public safety and impact to the traveling public. The public can report road damage by calling 206-684-ROAD, emailing or using the Find It, Fix It app. 

If there are several days in a row of high temperatures SDOT crews will spray cool water on the Ballard, Fremont, and University Bridges to reduce the risk of the draw bridges’ movable steel parts expanding and getting stuck.  

Seattle City Light 

Seattle City Light anticipates adequate resources to meet load increases associated with expected high temperatures. If we experience any unplanned outages, heat-related or otherwise, we will be positioned to respond. Find tips for How to Stay Comfortable Without Using a Lot of Electricity This Summer

Seattle Public Utilities 

Extreme heat events do occasionally disrupt solid waste collections and transfer station hours, at this time we do not anticipate additional closures through the weekend. Please visit our website for service updates during extreme weather events. 

Future Planning  

The City of Seattle has worked with regional partners, subject matter experts including the National Weather Service and the University of Washington, and communities most impacted by heat and environmental injustice, such as seniors, primary caregivers for children, communities of color, and people experiencing homelessness, to improve our extreme heat planning and response.  

In addition to the above actions the City is taking to respond to heat events, we are taking long term steps to reduce our contributions to climate change, mitigate its impacts on our community, and plan to build a more sustainable future: