Celebrating Seattle's Roosevelt Neighborhood

Heat is a silent killer. Most heat deaths happen in private homes and are therefore not visible to most of us. However, each year there are three or four heat deaths in Seattle and with climate change that number is likely to rise. During the heat wave of 1992, 50-60 Seattleites died from the heat. Because we have one of the lowest per capita number of air conditioners this problem is amplified.

Here are a few tips to beat the heat:

  1. Have a plan. If you do not have air conditioning, know where you will go and how you will get there to get out of the heat.
  2. Stay hydrated! You can lose a great deal of fluid through sweat. Dehydration is the most easily preventable killer in a heat wave.
  3. Plan for power outages. Though rare in Seattle in the summer, it is possible that the power could go out during a heat wave, especially with air conditioners pulling large amounts of electricity all at the same time. Know where you will go if your air conditioning fails.
  4. Consider installing a heat pump. Heat pumps require a great deal less electricity than window air conditioning units and cool much more efficiently.
  5. The most vulnerable people in heat events are the elderly, infants, the homeless, the poor and people who are socially isolated. Check on those around you. Know which of your neighbors is vulnerable.
  6. Know where your cooling centers are. Some, such as community centers, senior centers, and the Armory at Seattle Center, are specifically set up to be cooling centers, but you can also go to malls, stores, movie theaters, and libraries to cool off. (If planning to go to a library, check in advance as not all are air conditioned).