(Update: Adding video, comments from Red Cross, food truck owner cooling center providers)
Much of the Northwest is expected to bake for close to a week
BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- A record heat wave incoming to Central Oregon is causing some to prepare for heat safety and search for spots to stay cool.
NewsChannel 21 met Thursday with PJ Johnson, a Red Cross spokeswoman, who said the biggest keys to staying safe are drinking water and staying hydrated.
Johnson recommended wearing loose clothing and avoiding exercise in the hottest parts of the day.
She said if you have air conditioning, try to stay inside, or if not find a public building like a library or a cooling shelter that does. (The Red Cross has more tips here.)
For pets and children, she said to make sure to never leave them in the car and keep them sheltered from the sun.
For family and friends, her advice is simple.
"Check in,” Johnson said. “Check in on your family and friends. If you know that there is somebody who is elderly, or disabled, or has physical issues, call them or go over there and check in on them, and make sure that they're holding up well. If not, you can do the same things for them that you're doing for yourself."
Heat safety is important for everyone, but is essential for those working outside in the heat.
For those working in a food truck, it can get 10-20 degrees hotter in a food truck than the outside temperature.
Jackson Higdon is the owner and chef at Lucky's Woodsman at Silver Moon Brewing.
He said he's tried for months to get air conditioning installed in his truck, but it hasn't panned out. Instead he has one air conditioning unit and a series of fans to create a "wind tunnel.”
Higdon said just to keep the food in his coolers cold, he is considering using dry ice.
For himself and his employees, Higdon said he is always looking for signs of heat exhaustion, but has set up ice buckets for employees to dunk their heads in every hour, among other things.
"It's the first thing that I think of every day is, how am I going to make sure my staff is okay?” Higdon said
“I've had thoughts of just hosing down the truck on hot days, to try to get some of the heat off. You know, we keep Popsicles on site, dipping towels in water, so we have them on there. I have a couple fans that are portable that actually have misters on them,” Higdon said of his different cooling methods.
Higdon says he has lived and worked in Bend for most of his life, and this predicted heat wave is something he has never had to deal with.
“We just pray that hopefully this heat wave doesn't last forever,” Higdon said. “I'd say most summers in Bend's history, it's rare to see a whole bunch of 100s in a row, so this is definitely something that's concerning."
Higdon said he still hopes to get the whole truck air conditioned, but will use these other “cool” tricks in the meantime.
Meanwhile, for those who are trying to beat the heat who are experiencing homelessness, or don't have access to a cool place to stay, there will be cooling centers in Bend, Madras and Redmond to go to.
First Presbyterian Church and the Shepherds House are partnering with the Homeless Leadership Coalition and the city of Bend to provide cooling centers seven days a week starting Saturday through July 4th.
In Bend, First Presbyterian Church will be open on weekends from noon to 5 p.m. Shepherd's House will be open on weekdays from noon to 5.
"It's really important for us and as a community to stand by our neighbors that are experiencing homelessness, to give them a safe place from the heat,” said Colleen Thomas, chair of the Homeless Leadership Coalition.
The pastor at First Presbyterian, the Rev. Morgan Schmidt, shared a similar sentiment.
"We have neighbors who can't get relief from this kind of heat, and it's very extreme at this point. We believe that everybody deserves to be treated with dignity and have a safe place to seek shelter,” Schmidt said. “That goes beyond partisan politics. That goes beyond our religious affiliation. And at First Presbyterian, we want to be a safe place to find refuge."
These organizations are working closely with the houseless community, but the cooling centers are open to everyone.
More information on the cooling centers can be found here.