City of Boston declares ‘heat emergency’ ahead of weekend scorcher

And it’s not because Miami is coming to town to play the Celtics

BOSTON — The heat will be set on high in Boston this weekend, and Mayor Michelle Wu is declaring a “heat emergency” effective Saturday through Sunday.

Cooling centers will be open at 15 Boston Centers for Youth & Families community centers on Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

A full list of centers can be found at boston.gov/heat. The city says that due to “rising COVID-19 case count” the use of masks in cooling centers is strongly recommended.

“We’re working quickly to make sure all of our Boston residents and families are protected during this weekend’s extremely hot weather,” said Mayor Wu in a statement. “As we head into summer, it is clear that earlier, more frequent extreme heat days from a changing climate are a risk to our health and communities. I’m grateful to the many city workers who have started preparations and will be responding to this heat emergency and urge everyone to stay cool and safe, and check on your neighbors over the weekend.”

More than 50 splash pads will be open at parks and playgrounds.

Select indoor BCYF pools will also be open Saturday. Registration for a time to swim can be found at this link.

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 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 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.
  • 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.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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