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Heat Emergency in Boston
Mayor Wu announced a heat emergency in the City of Boston through Wednesday, July 17. Cooling centers will be open at 14 BCYF community centers Monday through Wednesday, from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Mayor Wu Declares Heat Emergency June 18 - 20, Opens BCYF Cooling Centers to all Residents

The City of Boston is encouraging residents to take precautions to stay safe in the hot weather..

Today, Mayor Michelle Wu declared a heat emergency in the City of Boston beginning Tuesday, June 18 through Thursday, June 20, due to the upcoming hot weather forecasts. High temperatures will reach into the 90s, with the heat index expected to reach the mid-90s to 100 degrees. 

“Having a fun and safe summer together here in Boston requires our community to come together to take necessary precautions to stay safe from extreme heat,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “Heat waves are a risk to our community, so everyone should make sure to stay hydrated, limit outdoor activity when possible, wear plenty of sunscreen, and check on your neighbors and loved ones. The City is here to support residents through a variety of resources, and I urge anyone with questions to call 311 for assistance in staying safe in the heat.”

June 18 - 20 Heat Emergency Graphic

To help residents stay cool, cooling centers will be open at 14 Boston Centers for Youth & Families (BCYF) community centers Tuesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. A full list of centers can be found at Additionally, splash pads are open at parks and playgrounds throughout the city. BCYF has pools across the City that are open. Registration for times to swim at BCYF’s indoor pools can be found at this link. Additionally, during heat emergencies, the Office of Early Childhood will partner with BCYF and East Boston Social Centers to provide programming for children under 5 years old at cooling centers.

Because of a collaboration between Boston Public Schools, Boston Centers for Youth & Families, the Public Facilities Department, and the Property Management Department, investments of City funding, and improved facilities assessment, the City is on track to have more pools open this year than in previous summers, including the BCYF Clougherty, Hennigan, Marshall, Mattahunt, and Perkins pools. BCYF Marshall Community Center pool opened in fall 2023 and the BCYF Mattahunt opened recently. The Hennigan and Perkins are expected to be open this summer as is the Clougherty Pool, which is undergoing a two-year renovation. BCYF announced today that the seasonal, outdoor BCYF Mirabella Pool in the North End will open Friday, June 28.

Boston Public Library locations are also available on Tuesday and Thursday for residents to seek relief from the heat. Patrons are always welcome to participate in BPL’s summer programming for kids, teens, and adults.

The Boston Public Schools (BPS) is encouraging students and their families to prepare for hot weather this week by staying well hydrated and dressing appropriately. There are currently 10 buildings without air conditioning. These buildings all have a surplus supply of fans available. All schools will have bottled water available on site. Additionally, all BPS school leaders have been advised to move outdoor activities indoors or adjust outdoor activities if possible to ensure community health and safety. BPS will be closed on Wednesday for Juneteenth. BCYF and BPL buildings will also be closed on Wednesday for the holiday as previously planned. 

The current City of Boston heat emergency threshold is two days or more of 95°F heat index or above. Anyone, regardless of their medical conditions, can feel the impacts of extreme heat. 

This summer, the City will deploy a number of innovative new cooling approaches throughout our neighborhoods to help residents and visitors stay safe and enjoy the summer. This year’s offerings include outdoor misting towers to be deployed at fire stations and parks during heat emergencies as well as at Open Streets events. The Office of Emergency Management will distribute pop-up cooling kits with misting tents during heat emergencies and at outdoor events hosted by departments and community organizations. Personal cooling kits are also available to residents. The City has installed three new “cool spots” at BCYFs Menino in Roslindale, Tobin in Mission Hill and Gallivan in Mattapan, which are now open, expanding the pilot program to nine locations. 

Information on heat safety tips can be found online at and by following @CityofBoston on social media. Residents can sign up for AlertBoston, 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. Residents are able to call 311 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

The Mayor issued the following heat safety tips:

  • 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 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., when the sun's ultraviolet (UV) radiation is strongest. Adults and children should use sunscreen containing an SPF30 or higher and wear protective, loose-fitting clothing including long sleeve shirts and hats.
  • 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 9-1-1 immediately. Do not delay care. Heat is the leading cause of weather-related deaths in the U.S. 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.
  • 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.
  • Please call or check on neighbors, especially older adults and people with disabilities.
  • Please keep pets indoors, hydrated, and cool as asphalt and ground conditions are significantly hotter and unsafe during heat.

Helping Individuals Experiencing Homelessness:

  • If you see individuals out in the heat who appear immobile or disoriented, please ask them if they need assistance and call 9-1-1 immediately.
  • The Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) operates emergency shelters at 112 Southampton St (men’s shelter) and 794 Massachusetts Ave (women’s shelter). 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 water on outreach routes.

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, chimineas, and bonfires.
  • Charcoal grills must be on the ground and away from buildings. Keep in mind the wind and never leave grills unattended. 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 outdoors in a well-ventilated area.

The City of Boston’s work is guided by the Heat Resilience Solutions for Boston framework to prepare for hotter summers and more intense heat events. The Heat Plan presents 26 strategies that will help build a more just, equitable, and resilient Boston. Visit regularly to learn more about the latest strategies for staying cool and to access the most up-to-date resources available. Each individual, family, and community’s plan may look different: from visiting a cooling center, to accessing one of Boston’s public pools or parks, or requesting a pop-up cooling kit for use at an outdoor event. You can read more about the strategies to stay cool this summer in the Summer Cooling Guide. In all extreme heat situations, please look out for your community, specifically heat-sensitive residents like elders, children, or unhoused people. 

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