The Benton-Franklin Health District (BFHD) is working with businesses, libraries and community centers to offer temporary warming centers.

"Anybody who is experiencing lack of heat from their home, let's say they don't have routine access to warm areas, or their heat went out. They're able to come to these warming centers to get out of the cold because there can be many hazards of being out in the cold weather, especially for an extended period of time." BFHD Emergency Preparedness Coordinator Joel Erickson said.

Of the 17 warming centers open to the public, many are located inside the Mid-Columbia libraries along with the Columbia Center Mall and the Tri-City Union Gospel Mission.

"Both their men's and women's shelter are open as warming centers, but other than that, it's community organizations that have opened their doors and are willing to have anybody come in. We're also actively trying to grow this list." Erickson said.

BFHD is also partnering with 211, a bilingual 24/7 community resource that anyone can call for help.

"They can call that number, 2-1-1 and ask what is the closest warming center to them? What are the hours for those warming centers, and so on. So it's a great partnership that we've been able to curate with them." Erickson said.

To view the entire list of warming centers, we've set up a link here.

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