For Immediate Release
July 19, 2013
For More Information Contact:
Mayor's Press Office
Mayor Thomas M. Menino today received updates from various departments regarding the City’s response to this week’s soaring temperatures:
- The Elderly Commission conducted an auto-call Friday to all Boston seniors urging them to take precautions while advertising available services
- Boston Centers for Youth and Families opened all of its Cooling Centers. As of noontime, the pools and cooling centers received 3,915 visits on Friday.
- Boston Parks and Recreation opened more than 50 water spray attractions and limited outdoor employee activities during peak hot hours
- The Boston Housing Authority opened cooling sites at various housing developments and conducted well-being checks on all of its ill and disabled residents
- The Mayor’s 24-hour Hotline has fielded 627 calls since midnight Friday, answering questions mainly about cooling centers and ISD/Apartment related heat questions
- The Boston Public Health Commission is operating its Medical Intelligence Center and coordinating heat-related issues with area hospitals and healthcare providers. The Commission also circulated heat safety tips to the city’s Medical Reserve Corps.
- An Emergency Hot Weather Protocol is in effect for homeless service providers in the city. All adult emergency shelters are open 24 hours/day to offer a cool place to rest or stay. Guests have the option to stay in shelters during the day rather than go out if they so choose. Outreach teams are patrolling the city, checking in on people, providing water, and offering rides to shelter for anyone that’s interested. If you’re concerned that a homeless person is experiencing a medical emergency, call 911 immediately.
- Boston EMS had not received any reports of serious heat-related illness as of noontime Friday. Additional supplies of water have been circulated to all City first responders.
- Nstar has been updating the Mayor’s Office regularly regarding a power outage in the South End, and Boston Police are directing traffic in the area.
Mayor Menino and the Boston Public Health Commission continue to urge residents to stay hydrated and in shaded or air conditioned areas whenever possible. The City also recommends employers limit outdoor work for employees during the warmest hours, expected between 12 and 7 p.m.
“As the heat wave peaks, it’s especially important for children and the elderly to stay cool,” Mayor Menino said. “We have many resources throughout the city to ensure residents are safe and healthy. I encourage everyone to take advantage of our various cooling centers, pools and parks as temperatures continue to climb.”
All Boston Centers for Youth & Families sites are open today and serving as cooling centers. A full list of BCYF cooling centers is available here: http://www.cityofboston.gov/images_documents/CoolingCentersJuly162013_tcm3-17934.pdf .
Boston Parks Department keeps a Water Spray List available online as well.
Children and the elderly are particularly susceptible to heat-related illnesses and injuries, but everyone should remember to limit their activities during very hot weather, drink plenty of fluids, and avoid beverages that contain caffeine or alcohol. When outdoors, limit strenuous activity, wear sunscreen and loose, light-colored clothing, and rest often in cool, shady areas. Additional measures to beat the heat include avoiding cooking, taking cool showers or baths, and staying in air conditioned areas whenever possible.
Heat related illness such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke can be fatal if untreated and need to be taken seriously, particularly for elderly and younger populations. Residents should follow heat safety precautions and pay attention to the warning signs such as nausea, dizziness, and headaches. If symptoms persist, call 9-1-1 immediately. Family, friends and neighbors are also urged to check in frequently with elderly residents who may need assistance during the hot weather.
- One of the best things anyone can do to stay safe in the water is to learn how to swim and to follow basic water safety rules.
- Never swim alone, and always swim in areas with lifeguards. Only swim in areas designated for swimming.
- Actively watch children when they are swimming. Young children should always remain within arm’s reach of an adult that is comfortable/skilled in the water.
- Obey all “No Diving” signs.
- If you’re boating, always wear or keep U.S. Coast Guard approved life jackets on board for all passengers.
The Office of Emergency Management is monitoring the weather and will be providing weather forecast updates to city departments and coordinating city response. City supervisors have also been asked to be mindful of the heat and limit outdoor activity of City staff.
For questions about heat-related city services, residents should call the Mayor's 24-Hour Hotline at 617-635-4500. Comprehensive heat safety tips and resources are available on the city website at www.cityofboston.gov/heat. Follow @NotifyBoston and #becoolboston on Twitter for heat related updates.