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Cooling Shelters Open During Excessive Heat Warning

BEND, OR -- Local health officials and non-profits urge the public to take precautions during this week’s Excessive Heat Warning, and watch out for at-risk groups, in particular. Shepherd’s House says the area’s homeless population faces added challenges, and its shelters in Bend and Redmond are ready for an influx of people. “They're expected to meet the need, at present… So, it's just that there's going to be a higher demand and we're prepared for that,” says Aaron Mitchel from Shepherd’s House Ministries, “We’re also handing out masks for people so that way they can endure the heat but also kind of help filter the smoke that’s going on in the air.” The non-profit witll accept bottled water donations Tuesday at Mountain View Fellowship on 35th street in Redmond, and at the Division Street shelter in Bend.

Emily Horton, with Deschutes County Public Health, says other groups also need to take precautions during triple-digit temps, “The elderly, the very young, overweight or people with certain medical conditions are at high risk. And then of course, people who can't get out of the heat. So, people that are working outside.” Horton says people experiencing symptoms of heat illness should call 911. The Excessive Heat Warning is in effect through Thursday night.

Cooling shelters are now open in Deschutes County: 

  • The Lighthouse Navigation Center - 275 NE 2nd St., Bend
    • Will support as a daytime site with usual operations. 
    • Pets are allowed. 
  • Cascade Peer & Self Help Center - 1036 NE 8th St., Bend
    • Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. only. 
    • Pets are allowed. 
  • Council on Aging of Central Oregon - 1036 NE 5th St., Bend
    • August 13 – 18, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 
    • Age restrictions for guests: Must be 60 or older; adult dependents and caregivers are welcome to accompany the 60+ individual(s).
    • Pets are not allowed at this time. 
  • Mosaic Community Health - 2965 NE Conners Ave Ste 280, Bend
    • August 15 – 18, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
    • Only available to Mosaic patients. 
    • Service animals only. 
    • Cold drinks and snacks will be available in conference rooms for patients.
  • Mosaic Community Health - 1250 SW Veterans Way, Ste 120, Redmond
    • August 15 – 18, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
    • Only available to Mosaic patients.
    • Service animals only. 
    • Cold drinks and snacks will be available in conference rooms for patients. 
  • Mountain View Fellowship - 1475 SW 35th St., Redmond
    • August 15 – August 16, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. 
    • Pets are allowed. 
    • Requesting donations of bottled water, electrolyte packets, food, sunscreen and hats. 
  • La Pine Activity Center - 16450 Victory Way, La Pine   
    • August 15 - August 18, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. 
    • Open to all community members regardless of age  
    • Pets are not allowed. 
    • Requesting donations of bottled water.

Deschutes County Public Health suggests the following strategies to stay healthy during periods of smoke and heat:

  • Drink water and bring extra bottles for yourself and others.
  • Drink more water than usual and don’t wait until you are thirsty. Talk to your doctor first if you are on water pills.
  • Avoid alcohol and sugary drinks.
  • Take a cool shower or bath.
  • Use air conditioning or a fan.
  • Don’t use a fan to blow extremely hot air on yourself – when temperatures cool and air quality improves to moderate or healthy (yellow or green on the Air Quality Index), open windows and doors to air out and cool homes and businesses
  • Wear lightweight and loose clothing.
  • Avoid using your stove or oven – plan ahead so you don’t need to generate additional heat in your home for meal preparation.
  • Avoid going outside during the hottest part of the day (3 - 7 p.m.)

Anyone can get heat-related illnesses. So think about the family and friends who may need you to check on them during extreme heat. People who are very young, elderly, overweight or have medical conditions are at higher risk, as are athletes or those who work outdoors. “People may not realize that heat-related illnesses can be deadly,” said Dr. Richard Fawcett, Deschutes County Health Officer, “so extremely hot temperatures should not be taken lightly.”

Symptoms of heat exhaustion include:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Irritability
  • Thirst
  • Heavy sweating
  • Elevated body temperature
  • Decreased urine output

Symptoms of heat stroke include:

  • Confusion, altered mental status, slurred speech
  • Loss of consciousness (coma)
  • Hot, dry skin or profuse sweating
  • Seizures
  • Very high body temperature
  • Fatal if treatment delayed


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