Just in time for the triple-digit heat, cool centers have opened in locations throughout Riverside County, offering residents and visitors an escape from excessive heat.

Approximately 50 cool centers will be open to the public at no cost. The centers will be available through Oct. 15 as temperatures warrant.

“Cool centers make it possible for residents to escape extreme heat and high temperatures during the summer months, offering safety and comfort for residents and visitors throughout Riverside County,” Kim Saruwatari, Riverside University Health System – Public Health director, said in a prepared statement.

High temperatures can be hazardous for many people, especially for the elderly and those with medical conditions. Heat-related injuries such as heatstroke, an illness that occurs when the body can no longer regulate its temperature, can strike fast and pose life-threatening consequences.

Older individuals are at higher risk for problems when it’s very hot. You are also at high risk if you:

  • Have certain medical conditions
  • Take medicine for high blood pressure
  • Have mental health conditions
  • Have been drinking alcohol
  • Use IV drugs
  • Have had a previous heat-related illness

Cool centers provide a temporary refuge from the sizzling summer heat. If you are not able to get to a cool center, here are some tips from the Community Action Partnership.

  • Drink plenty of water. Avoid alcohol and caffeine.
  • Turn on your air conditioner. Stay in air-conditioned space at home, or someplace cool like the mall, a library, senior center or Cool Center.
  • Schedule outside activities before noon or in the evening. Avoid or minimize physical exertion.
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose clothing.
  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat, or use an umbrella for shade.
  • Slow down—rest in the shade or a cool place every chance you get.
  • If you do not have an air conditioner, use a fan. Make sure your windows are open.
  • Do not eat heavy meals. Avoid cooking with your oven.
  • Take a cool shower or bath.
  • Do not sit in a hot car, even for a short time. Never leave a person or animal alone in a vehicle during high temperatures.
  • Check on your friends and neighbors who are elderly or have medical conditions.

The cool centers are coordinated by the Community Action Partnership of Riverside County, in conjunction with Riverside University Health System – Public Health, and are located in local libraries, senior and community centers. Light refreshments and water will be available at some locations. For a list of cool center locations in English, click here.

For a list of cool center locations in Spanish, click here.


Image Sources

  • Cathedral City Library: Discover Cathedral City