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Aug 10
Mayor Janey Declares Heat Emergency, Opens BCYF Cooling Centers to All Residents

​Tuesday, August 10, 2021 - Today, Mayor Kim Janey declared a heat emergency in the City of Boston beginning Wednesday, August 11 and lasting through Friday, August 13 due to the hot and humid weather that is forecasted for this time period. Temperatures are expected to be in the 90s, with a feels-like temperature over 100 degrees. 

“When it is this dangerously hot during the day and the temperatures do not drop at night, your body doesn’t have time to recover. I am urging everyone to drink lots of water and find ways to stay cool. Anyone who needs a place to beat the heat can come inside and rest in the air conditioning at one of our cooling centers,” said Mayor Janey. “If possible, avoid strenuous outdoor activity during the middle of the day. If you must be outside, take breaks more frequently and stay hydrated. Let's look out for each other, Boston. If you see someone outside who appears in distress and needs help, call 911 right away.”

To help residents stay cool, cooling centers will be open at Boston Centers for Youth & Families (BCYF) community centers from Wednesday through Friday, 10:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. A full list of centers that will be available can be found at Boston.gov/Heat. Additionally, the Frog Pond and tot sprays are open at parks and playgrounds throughout the City. The outdoor BCYF Mirabella Pool in the North End and the outdoor BCYF Clougherty Pool in Charlestown are both open for recreational swim as are several indoor BCYF pools. Pre-register for a time to swim at all pools at Boston.gov/BCYF-Registration

Information on heat safety tips can be found online at boston.gov/heat and by following @CityofBoston on Twitter. Residents can sign up for Alert Boston, the City's emergency notification system, to receive emergency alerts by phone, email or text. Sign up online here. Residents are also encouraged to call 311 with any questions about available city services.

The Mayor issued the following heat safety tips for all members of the public:

  • Children and pets should never be left alone in vehicles, even for short periods of time.
  • Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of fluids regardless of activity level. Avoid alcoholic beverages and liquids high in sugar or caffeine.
  • Keep cool with frequent cool showers, shade, and air conditioning or fans. 
  • Limit outdoor activity to morning and evening hours. Rest often in shady areas and be extra cautious from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., when the sun's UV radiation is strongest.
  • Know the signs of heat exhaustion. Heavy sweating, cool and clammy skin, dizziness, nausea, and muscle aches could all be signs of heat exhaustion. If symptoms persist, call 911 immediately. Do not delay care. Heat is the leading cause of weather-related deaths in the US and can exacerbate underlying illnesses.
  • Adults and children should use sunscreen containing an SPF-30 or higher and wear protective, loose-fitting clothing, including long sleeve shirts and hats.
  • If you have a child in your home, use child window guards in addition to screens on any open window on the second story or above. Falls are the leading cause of injury for children under the age of six. 
  • Secure all window air conditioner units according to the manufacturer's specifications.
  • If you are heading to a beach, lake or pool to beat the heat, swim where lifeguards are present. Always watch children near the water and make sure they're wearing a U.S. Coast Guard approved life jacket.
  • Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there are situations where face masks are still required (public transportation, health care settings, etc). If the face mask results in overheating or if it is difficult to breathe, find a shaded area where 6 feet of distance from others can safely be maintained and remove the face covering.
  • Please call or virtually check on neighbors, especially older adults, and people with disabilities.

Helping the Homeless:

  • If you see individuals out in the heat who appear immobile or disoriented, call 911 immediately and please ask them if they need assistance.
  • The Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) operates emergency shelters at 112 Southampton St. and 794 Massachusetts Ave. These facilities are air conditioned and open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Amnesty has been called because of extremely high temperatures so those with non-violent restrictions can access shelter out of the heat. 
  • The City of Boston works closely with a network of shelter providers to ensure there is adequate shelter, food, water, and a cool respite from the heat.
  • Street outreach teams providing recovery services remain operating as normal during summertime weather. Outreach teams are providing sunscreen and water on outreach routes. 
  • Engagement Center (EC): Air conditioning, water, sunscreen and nursing are provided on site at the Engagement Center. Showers and running water are also available. The EC is open Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 6 a.m. - 6 p.m. and on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 11 a.m - 6 p.m. 

Playground Safety:  

  • Shoes should be worn outdoors, including playgrounds and turf athletic fields, as surfaces can become extremely hot and cause burns, even on splash pads and spray decks.

Outdoor Fires and Grilling:

  • No outdoor fires are allowed in Boston, including fire pits, chimneys, and bonfires.
  • Charcoal grills must be on the ground and away from buildings. Keep in mind the wind and never leave unattended. When done, dispose of the ash in a metal container once completely out.
  • Propane tank grills are only allowed on first floor porches with steps to the ground. Do not place propane tank grills near air conditioners or up against a building. Make sure all connections are tight and never carry propane tanks into a home.
  • Grills should always be used in a well-ventilated area.

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