July 14, 2024

Whole Community News

From Kalapuya lands in the Willamette watershed

Dangerously hot conditions expected starting July 4

5 min read
We are expecting our first big heat event of the season. The National Weather Service expects a high-impact, long-duration heat wave with record-breaking triple-digit temperatures and poor overnight relief from July 4 through July 7.

from Southeast Neighbors, National Weather Service, Oregon OSHA, city of Eugene, LTD, and staff reports

We are expecting our first big heat event of the season. The National Weather Service expects a high-impact, long-duration heat wave with record-breaking triple-digit temperatures and poor overnight relief from July 4 through July 7.

Dangerously hot conditions with temperatures 100 to 105 are expected throughout northwest and west central Oregon from noon Thursday to 11 p.m. Sunday. Overnight temperatures will also be very warm and limit chances to recover from the heat, with lows ranging from the mid-60s to low 70s.

Lane County provides a list of local cooling centers (updated July 3 and July 1) and an FAQ about Extreme Heat and Public Health, while Black Thistle Street Aid’s zine offers tips for beating the heat. LTD offers free rides to cooling centers. When you get on the bus, tell the driver your destination. Rides are free when cooling centers are activated.

For more information about sheltering and human services, dial 211 during business hours or visit 211info.org.

The city of Eugene highlighted the July 4 closure of the library and the Amazon, Hilyard, Petersen Barn, Sheldon, and Campbell community centers. These cooling centers will otherwise be on their regular operating hours:

  • The Downtown Library is a designated cooling site and is open 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. Monday-Thursday, and 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Friday – Sunday. Both Sheldon and Bethel branches are open 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, and 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. on Wednesdays. Regular services are available. All locations will be closed July 4.
  • The Downtown Library is relaxing some of its library rules and opening the Bascom/Tykeson Room as a separate cooling center. There will be tables and chairs set up around the room and access to and from the room will be from the sidewalk in front of the building. The biggest difference in what is allowed is people will be allowed to bring in their pets, eat and sit on the floor and lay down.
  • Hilyard Community Center is a designated cooling site and is open 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Monday – Friday. Because of ongoing programming, there is a limited capacity in the lobby. Hilyard Community Center will be closed July 4.

The city’s community centers are open for regular hours on July 3 and 5, closed July 4:

  • Amazon and Petersen Barn community centers 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday-Friday.
  • Hilyard Community Center 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Monday-Friday.
  • Sheldon Community Center 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday-Friday.
  • Campbell Community Center 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday.

All water fountains and splash pads in Eugene are turned on for summer. Splash pads are on seven days a week, including holidays, from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. at:

  • Fairmount Park (East 15th Avenue and Fairmount Boulevard)
  • Oakmont Park (2295 Oakmont Way)
  • Skinner Butte Park (248 Cheshire Ave.)
  • Striker Field Park (Grand Cayman Drive N and Antigua Drive)
  • Washington Park (2025 Washington St.)

Heat-related illnesses increase significantly during extreme heat events. Heatstroke symptoms can include: high body temperature, a fast, strong pulse, headache, dizziness, nausea, confusion and loss of consciousness. If you notice someone experiencing these symptoms, call 911 right away – heatstroke is a medical emergency. 

Older adults 65+, people without air conditioning, people who are pregnant, infants and children, outdoor workers, and people with certain health conditions or taking certain medications will be most impacted.

Drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air-conditioned room, stay out of the sunshine, and check up on relatives and neighbors.

Do not leave young children and pets in unattended vehicles. Car interiors will reach lethal temperatures in a matter of minutes. Additional information about pet safety in hot conditions is available from the Humane Society of the United States.

Take extra precautions when outside. Wear lightweight and loose fitting clothing. Try to limit strenuous activities to early morning or evening. Take action when you see symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

Those seeking relief from the heat in area rivers and lakes should take water safety precautions. Wear a life jacket and don`t venture into the water alone. If boating or swimming also beware of submerged hazards. Check for hazardous low head dams along your planned route.

Anyone overcome by heat should be moved to a cool and shaded location. Heat stroke is an emergency—call 911 immediately.

The National Weather Service said there is a 25-35 percent chance that temperatures will exceed 110 degrees on Saturday, and a 10-15 percent chance that temperatures will exceed 110 degrees Friday and Sunday. For more information, visit www.weather.gov/portland.

As temperatures rise and the risk of heat illness in the workplace increases, Oregon Occupational Safety and Health reminds employers to follow requirements designed to help protect workers from the hazards of extreme heat. The division offers free resources to help employers comply with the requirements.

Oregon OSHA maintains a heat illness prevention rule under which employers must provide adequate water, rest, shade, training, acclimatization – which involves gradually adapting the body to work in the heat – and additional protective measures.

Eugene city staff may be seen taking breaks in shaded areas or air-conditioned vehicles following guidance to prevent heat-related illnesses.

“Employers need to take the potential dangers of heat illness seriously, which means exercising vigilance and focusing on prevention,” said Renée Stapleton, administrator for Oregon OSHA. “We have many free resources to help them comply with our specific requirements, including practical guidance and helpful online trainings they can use now.”

Oregon OSHA’s heat illness prevention requirements apply across industries and where employers provide housing, including on farms. Under the Oregon Safe Employment Act, workers have a right to a safe and healthy workplace, the right to raise concerns free of retaliation, and employers must maintain safe and healthy workplaces.

The division urges employers to refresh their knowledge of the general workplace requirements and employer-provided housing requirements in these fact sheets:

All heat illness prevention resources are available on Oregon OSHA’s A-to-Z topic index page. They include a video training in English and Spanish that satisfies certain training elements of the heat rule.

Oregon OSHA also offers:

Consultation services – provides free and confidential help with safety and health programs, including how to control and eliminate hazards, and hands-on training. The services involve no fault, no citations, and no penalties.

Technical staff – helps employers understand requirements and how to apply them to their worksites

The Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services, which includes Oregon OSHA, maintains the Multicultural Communications Program that provides outreach to communities with limited English proficiency. That outreach encompasses information about on-the-job safety and health.

The Ombuds Office for Oregon Workers provides help with understanding workplace safety and health rights, and workers’ compensation rights.

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