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Mayor Wu Urges Caution As Warm Weather Forecasted Throughout Week

Mayor Michelle Wu today announced a heat advisory for the City of Boston beginning today, July 9, through Friday, July 12, due to the upcoming weather forecasts.

High temperatures will reach into the high 80s, with the heat index expected to reach the 90s. The current City of Boston heat advisory threshold is 3 days or more of 90 degrees heat index, sustained for 2 or more hours per day.

“City staff are working to ensure Boston has an enjoyable and safe summer, and we’re asking residents to do their part to protect themselves from hot and humid weather,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “While this is not a heat emergency, we are advising people to take the necessary precautions such as taking breaks when working outside, staying hydrated, and checking on each other in the heat.”

“The Office of Emergency Management is coordinating closely with the National Weather Service (NWS) and Boston Public Health Commission on the weather and its impacts to our constituents. We are in communication with our partners, particularly those that work directly with vulnerable populations, to ensure they have what they need and will be available to support any resource or coordination needs that may arise,” said Chief of Emergency Preparedness Adrian Jordan. “We want to remind residents that extreme heat can be dangerous. Sustained periods of high heat increases the risk of heatstroke and other heat-related illnesses, especially for children, older adults, and those with chronic health conditions.”

The City of Boston is taking critical immediate action to provide heat relief, including short-term, actionable steps toward relief during heat waves. The City of Boston has been engaging in a variety of projects to support extreme heat mitigation and improved health for residents. Anyone, regardless of their medical conditions, can feel the impacts of extreme heat. During a heat wave, Boston Emergency Medical Services typically experience an 10-15% increase in calls to 9-1-1 for people of all ages.

Splash pads will be open at parks and playgrounds throughout the City. Several city pools are open for people to cool off and operating hours can be found at boston.gov/pools. Memberships to all City pools are free. Learn more about how to create a membership and register for a swim session at Boston.gov/BCYF-registration. 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. The BCYF Mildred pool opens tomorrow and the BCYF Perkins pool opened just yesterday.

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

Information on heat safety tips can be found online at boston.gov/heat and by following @CityofBoston on Twitter. Residents can sign up for AlertBoston, 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:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 will be called at temperatures of 90 degrees or above, 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 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 boston.gov/heat 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 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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