The City’s Emergency Management Office monitors weather reports to determine whether the cooling spaces plan should be activated. If at least two consecutive days of 95-degree weather are predicted by the National Weather Service, the plan is activated.
Spokane’s library system is the cornerstone of the cooling areas plan. It utilizes existing resources that are staffed so it’s cost-effective, has ample space, is already in neighborhoods in various parts of the city and offers water, restrooms, books interactive play areas, wi-fi access, etc. Library locations include: Central (906 W. Main St.), Shadle Park (2111 W. Wellesley Ave.), Liberty Park (402 S. Pittsburg St.), Hillyard (4110 N. Cook St.), South Hill Library (3324 S. Perry St.) and Indian Trail (4909 W. Barnes Road). Libraries are open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday-Saturday; noon-4 p.m. Sunday; and 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Thursday.
If someone needs ride to a cooling area during an activation period (when the temperature is at least 95 for two or more days) if they board a STA bus and mention they can’t pay for it to the driver, the fare will be waved. Additionally the Salvation Army has vans that can meet people where they are at 24/7 and help connect them to local shelters. Call (509) 280-6860.
The Trent Resource and Assistance Center (TRAC) is another cooling space option. It’s a safe, healthy indoor facility that has separated spaces for different demographics. TRAC also offers meals and wrap around services to help homeless individuals on their journey out of homelessness. Check https://sheltermespokane.org for updated citywide shelter occupancy information as reported by shelter operators.
Splash pads are great places to cool down for free. Splash pads are operational daily from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. at 19 parks find the list here. The City’s six aquatic centers offer free open swimming. The pools are open June 20 – Aug 25 find the list here.
All cooling areas have donated hydration drinks available for activations at the start of the hot summer season. The City has secured donations of products for the cooling areas, but additional donations of bottled water, Gatorade/Powerade, other caffeine-free hydration drinks, mini sunscreen products and single pack snacks are needed for future extreme weather events. Powder that is mixed with water goes farther than pre-mixed hydration drinks. Those interested in donating can email Director of Emergency Management Sarah Nuss at email@example.com. Donations are being accepted on weekdays this month and throughout August.
Meals on Wheels Spokane, 1222 W. Second Ave., is accepting new or unopened fans for homebound senior citizens.
Residents are urged to drink water, wear light-colored clothing, apply sunscreen and to not leave kids or pets in vehicles. The community is encouraged to take advantage of these facilities and their amenities as well as check on neighbors, friends, and family during heat waves. If you can help someone, please do.
For additional information and updates check the city’s Resources Available to Cool Off During Predicted Extreme Heat page.