Volunteers sought for cooling centers, misting stations

Multnomah County

Portland Parks & Recreation is seeking help to give people relief during high temperatures

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — For the second time in about 6 weeks, the Portland metro is dealing with a triple-digit heat wave. But this time Multnomah County officials said they’re doing more to protect vulnerable people than at the end of June, when about 100 people died.

Many of those who died during the record-shattering heat wave were elderly and lived alone. Several who died lived in affordable housing units owned by Home Forward, KOIN 6 News learned through a public records request. Though Home Forward officials weren’t available for an interview, they said they’re continuing to distribute cooling supplies based on need and have air conditioned community rooms open 24 hours a day in their high-rise buildings.

They’ve also opened air conditioned community rooms in their non-high rise buildings, during business hours and they’ve expanded their outreach using a list of known vulnerable residents to check on.

The Portland Bureau of Emergency Management is also doing more outreach this heat wave. In addition to automated alerts and phone calls, volunteers are making direct calls to people they think might be at risk.

“We’ve received lists of buildings and phone numbers that our volunteers can call,” said the agency’s Dan Douthit. “It’s something that I think we’re going to continue to need to expand in the future, but it’s a new approach to directly reach people we think are the most likely to need help.”

If you need help getting to a cooling center, call 211 to arrange a ride.

But they can’t reach everyone. That’s why health officials want all of us to check on our neighbors.

Multnomah County needs volunteers to staff all the cooling centers they’ve opened. Three of them are open around-the-clock because temps aren’t expected to cool off much at night.

Outdoor misting stations are located here:

  • Glenhaven Park, Northeast 82nd Avenue and Northeast Siskiyou Street (Roseway/Madison South)
  • Knott Park, 11456 N.E. Knott St. (Parkrose Heights)
  • Mt. Scott Park, Southeast 72nd Avenue and Harold Street (Mt. Scott)
  • East Portland Community Center, 740 S.E. 106th Ave.
  • Lents Park, 4808 S.E. 92nd Ave.
  • Harney City Park, Southeast Harney Street and Southeast 67th Avenue.

Volunteer sign up information can be found here:

A previous Portland Tribune story can be found here.

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