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No A/C? How to find your area cooling center

Posted at 5:57 PM, Jun 05, 2024

SHAFTER, Calif. (KERO) — With the hottest temperatures of the year on the horizon, cooling centers across Kern County are opening to community members needing to stay cool this summer.

  • According to the Kern County Center on Aging and Adult Services website, cooling centers across the county were open for the first time this year in response to the heat.
  • 23ABC popped by the Shafter cooling center at the Walker Senior Center hosted by the Shafter Recreation and Parks District, and while nobody came by across the several hours we were there, staff say they're happy to ensure it's open for anyone who needs it.
  • To learn where your cooling center is and when it's open, you can find that on the Kern County website.

BROADCAST TRANSCRIPT:

Man, it is hot outside. I’m Sam Hoyle, your Shafter neighborhood reporter and welcome to Walker Senior Center, which is one of the county cooling centers here in Shafter. With Wednesday being one of the hottest days of the year so far, here inside the walker center — Well, it’s not busy, but at least it's cool?

Talking with staff from the Shafter Recreation and Parks District, they said the number of people who show up when the center is open ranges from day to day. Sometimes they get a dozen, sometimes they get nobody, but they still host it because they feel it’s a vital resource for the community.

“We never know when we open up the cooling center is if we’re going to have a good number of people, a handful of people, or nobody will show up. But there’s been days where, I know I’ve personally worked the cooling center, and I’ve had people come in – people who are kind of on the order of homelessness and when they show up and they’ve had no place else to be and the heat’s extreme, you’re glad you have it open. You know it really doesn't matter if it’s for a few people or for just one person – they matter and in this kind of heat. We want to keep people safe,” said Beverly Chambers.

But how do you know when a cooling center is going to be open? For valley cooling centers like the ones in Shafter, Arvin, Bakersfield, the list goes on: the forecasted temperature for that day needs to be 105 or higher. For desert communities like [California] City or Rosamond, it needs to be 108 or hotter. And for the one in Frazier Park serving mountain residents, it needs to be hotter than 93. But for more information, you can find that on the Kern County website linked in in this story online.

Now if you are in need of a cooling center but don’t have transportation to one, the county can help with that by calling 2-1-1.. In short, I’m Sam Hoyle, your neighborhood reporter.


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