This period of hot weather which started Tuesday will make heat related illness possible–especially in those people for whom it is difficult to escape the heat. Hot temperatures are now forecast to continue through Saturday and with warmer than normal temperatures on Sunday.

Kitsap County Department of Emergency Management is opening Cooling Centers this week to provide refuge from the heat. The locations, shown on the map below, are open from 2 – 8 p.m. on Thursday, July 28. The decision to activate Cooling Centers is made on a daily basis.

Port Orchard: First Lutheran Community Church at 2483 Mitchell Rd SE, Port Orchard, WA 98366

Poulsbo: City Hall at 200 Moe St NE, Poulsbo, WA 98370 (Pets are welcome if they remain in a carrier.)

Kingston: Village Green Community Center at 26159 Dulay Rd NE, Kingston, WA 98346

Central Kitsap/East Bremerton: Kitsap County Fairgrounds Pavilion at 1200 Fairgrounds Rd NW, Bremerton, WA 98311

Bremerton: Salvation Army at 832 6th St, Bremerton, WA 98337 (Open 2 – 5:30 p.m., reopening at 6p.m. for overnight sheltering)

Kitsap Transit will waive fares for passengers needing bus rides to cooling centers. If you need a ride to a cooling center, Kitsap Transit’s buses may be an option for you, depending on how close you live to a bus stop.

Cooling Centers are activated when temperatures are forecase to reach the High Risk level on the National Weather Service HeatRisk Index.  Additionally, the Bainbridge Island, Little Boston, Manchester, Port Orchard and Sylvan Way branches of the Kitsap Regional Libary are available during their hours of operation as are many businesses with air conditioning like malls and theaters.

To stay safe, be sure to stay hydrated, avoid strenuous activity during the peak of the heat hours in the mid to late afternoon, and make sure not to leave children or pets in vehicles – even with the window down. Additional safety infomation can be found here along with signs of heat illness.

To promote safety in the workplace Labor & Industry has established new rules for heat and air quality effective June 1. L&I’s Be Heat Smart web page has complete details of the requirements and additional steps employers and workers can take to prevent heat-related illnesses.