William Collins recently moved into his house and he spent Wednesday night without any air conditioning. He said it was hot and miserable.

 “We left all the windows and doors open. It’s still warm,” said Collins.

 Reliant Energy has opened Beat the Heat centers in Houston for the past six years.

 Sandra Massie Hines said she uses the cooling centers often. She encouraged other people to do the same.

 “It’s important for seniors because they kind of refuse to use their utilities in these hot summer months,” Hines said. “I’m already understanding that people are beginning to feel faint.”


All Beat the Heat Centers are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Extended hours are available at some.

  • Acres Homes Multi-Service Center

    6719 W. Montgomery Road



  • Southwest Multi-Service Center

    6400 High Star Dr.



  • Denver Harbor Multi-Service Center

    6402 Market St.



  • Sunnyside Multi-Service Center

    4605 Wilmington St.



  • Fifth Ward Multi-Service Center

    4014 Market St.



  • Third Ward Multi-Service Center

    3611 Ennis St.



  • Hiram Clarke Multi-Service Center

    3810 West Fuqua St.



  • West End Multi-Service Center

    170 Heights Blvd.



  • Kashmere Multi-Service Center

    4802 Lockwood Dr.



  • Magnolia Multi-Service Center

    7037 Capitol St.



Precautions Can Prevent Heat-Related Illnesses

The Houston Department of Health and Human Services recommends people begin taking precautions against high heat and humidity to prevent illnesses such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke. To prevent heat-related illnesses:

  • Increase water consumption. Drink lots of liquids even before getting thirsty, but avoid those with caffeine, alcohol or large amounts of sugar because these can actually result in the loss of body fluid.
  • Conduct outdoor work or exercise in the early morning or evening when it is cooler. Outdoor workers should drink plenty of water or electrolyte-replacement beverages and take frequent breaks in the shade or in an air-conditioned facility. People unaccustomed to working or exercising in a hot environment need to start slowly and gradually increase heat exposure over several weeks.
  • Wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothing that permits the evaporation of perspiration.
  • Do not leave children, senior citizens or pets unattended in a vehicle.
  • A wide-brimmed hat helps prevent sunburn as well as heat-related illness. Sunscreen also protects from the sun’s harmful rays and reduces the risk of sunburn.
  • If the house is not air-conditioned, seek accommodations in air-conditioned facilities during the heat of the day: multi-service centers, malls, movie theaters, libraries, etc.
  • Take frequent cool baths or showers if your home is not air-conditioned.
  • Stay alert to heat advisories. The National Weather Service declares a Heat Emergency when the heat index, a computation of the air temperature and humidity, reaches 108 degrees on two or more consecutive days. A heat index of 108 is a potential health threat for all people and is particularly dangerous for high-risk groups.


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