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Mayor declares heat emergency, opens BCYF cooling centers to all residents

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Mayor's Office

The heat emergency in the City of Boston begins Monday, June 28, and lasts through Wednesday, June 30.

In anticipation of the dangerously hot and humid weather forecasted for the beginning of next week, Mayor Kim Janey declared a heat emergency in the City of Boston beginning Monday, June 28, and lasting through Wednesday, June 30. During this time, temperatures are expected to be in the mid 90s, with a feels-like temperature reaching as high as 97 degrees. Due to the hot temperatures forecast for Sunday, June 27, through Thursday, July 1, residents are urged to follow heat safety tips.

“It is going to be dangerously hot so I’m asking everyone to take steps to stay safe over the next few days. Let’s look out for each other, Boston. If you see someone outside who appears in distress and needs help, call 911 right away,” said Mayor Janey. “Drink plenty of water. Try to avoid strenuous outdoor activity during the middle of the day. 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.”

To help residents stay cool, cooling centers will be open at Boston Centers for Youth & Families (BCYF) community centers from Monday through Wednesday, 10:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. A full list of centers that will be available can be found on our heat safety pageThe Frog Pond and tot sprays are open at parks and playgrounds throughout the City. Several indoor BCYF pools are available for recreational swim and the outdoor BCYF Mirabella Pool in North End will open on Wednesday, June 30, 2021. Pre-register online for a time to swim at all pools.

Information on heat safety tips can be found online on our heat safety page 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. 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. 
  • Adults and children should use sunscreen containing an SPF-30 or higher and wear protective, loose-fitting clothing, including long sleeve shirts and hats.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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, please call 911. 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. 
  • 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 and in the comfort station. 
  • Engagement Center: The Engagement Center remains open from 6 a.m. - 6 p.m. Air conditioning, water, sunscreen and nursing are provided on site. Showers and running water are available.
  • The Comfort Station: The Comfort Station is open weekdays from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Water, sunscreen and nursing are provided on site. 

Playground Safety:

  • Children should always wear shoes on playgrounds because surfaces can become extremely hot and cause burns, even splash pads and spray decks.

Outdoor Fires and Grilling:

  • No outdoor fires are allowed in Boston, including fire pits, chimineas, 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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