- Shelter in place. Staying indoors with windows and doors closed, where air quality is better, is the best way to protect your health. During high heat and heavy smoke events, keep indoor air cool or visit an air-cooling center.
- Set air conditioning units and car vent systems to re-circulate to prevent outside air from moving inside.
- Smoke can irritate the eyes and airways, causing cough, a dry scratchy throat, runny nose, trouble breathing, and irritated sinuses. Stay hydrated by drinking water during heavy smoke events.
- Avoid adding additional air pollution by curtailing activities, such as wood burning, lawn mowing, leaf blowing, driving, barbecuing, smoking, or other dust-producing activities. Avoid using hairspray and painting indoors. If possible, use the stove fan when cooking.
- Leave the affected area if possible, for the duration of the heavy smoke event.
Information on ongoing air quality in the area can be found on the Air District website, http://baaqmd.gov, and residents are encouraged to visit http://acphd.org/air-quality.aspx for health and safety tips.
Emergency Respite Centers
Emergency Respite Centers provide indoor spaces with cleaner air and cooler temperatures. They are open to anyone who is seeking respite from high temperatures or poor air quality, especially our unsheltered neighbors. The City of Oakland will open Emergency Respite Centers when:
- The EPA’s Air Quality Index (AQI) reaches “very unhealthy” levels of AQI 200 or above (see AirNow.gov)
- The National Weather Service forecasts temperatures of 95 degrees or more for two days in a row, or
- The outdoor air temperature reaches 100 degrees.
Emergency Respite Centers are anticipated to be open at the following locations:
- North Oakland Senior Center, 5714 Martin Luther King, Jr. Way
- César E. Chávez Branch of the Oakland Public Library, 3301 East 12th Street, #271
- City Hall, 1 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza
Avenue Library, 1021 81st Avenue
Optional Cooling Center Locations:
- Asian Branch Library
- Dimond Library
- Piedmont Library
- Brookfield Library
- Eastmont Library
- Rainbow Recreation Center
- Redwood Recreation Center
Partial A/C for additional cooling centers:
- Rockridge (meeting room, teen zone)
- 81st (meeting room, computer lab)
Cleaner air centers:
- 81st Ave Library
- North Oakland Senior Center
- Oakland City Hall
- Cesar Chavez Library
These locations are subject to change; check back here to confirm, or subscribe to AC Alerts
to receive a phone call, text message, or email when Emergency Respite Centers are open. Libraries are open to the public. Click here
for current hours of operation.