Higher Turnout Than Expected At Houston’s Cooling Centers

High temperatures are causing more people to seek refuge

After a weekend of heat advisories continuing through Monday, officials in Houston are trying to prevent extreme temperatures from becoming a public health crisis. 

Two or more days of heat advisories from the National Weather Service triggers the city of Houston’s heat emergency plan. Over the weekend, Houston opened cooling centers in public buildings and offered free shuttle rides for anyone who needed them.

More than one-hundred people visited cooling centers on Sunday, according to officials with the Houston Health Department. 

After days of heat advisories and the city activating its heat emergency plan, residents gather at Houston’s Northeast Multi-Service Center to cool off and learn more about heat-related health concerns.

“That’s significantly more than what we’ve seen in the past,” said John Fleming, preparedness bureau chief with Houston Health.“Usually, we see representation in the single digits so we were impressed yesterday to see quite a number of people especially showing up at the downtown libraries.”

Fleming said Houston Health is working to create a profile of the people who are most in need of cooling centers. In the past, he said, turn out has been too low to tell.



Davis Land

Senior Producer

Davis Land is a senior producer at Houston Public Media. He cut his teeth at Atlantic Public Media in Woods Hole, MA and at WBUR in Boston. His work has appeared on various public radio programs and podcasts including Texas Standard, Here and Now, and Marketplace. Davis is a graduate...

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