With temperatures expected to reach or exceed 90 degrees for the next several days, Mayor Martin J. Walsh today declared a heat emergency in Boston effective tomorrow. Boston Centers for Youth & Families (BCYF) will be open for use as cooling centers for the public to use beginning on Thursday. A full list of centers including hours of operation is available here. (The Nazzaro Center, 30 N. Bennet Street is the closest to the North End and Downtown Boston).
The Mayor issued the following heat safety tips for all members of the public:
- Adults and children should use sunscreen containing an SPF-15 or higher and wear protective, loose fitting clothing, including long sleeve shirts and hats.
- The elderly, young children and those with chronic medical conditions, especially respiratory conditions, are more susceptible to the effects of heat.
- Check in on the elderly and family or neighbors who may be at risk of heat exhaustion or heatstroke as temperatures climb.
- Children and pets should never be left alone in vehicles, even for short periods of times.
- If you become lightheaded, confused, weak or faint, stop all activity and immediately find shade or a cool area to rest. If symptoms persist, call 911 immediately.
- 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.
- Drink plenty of fluids regardless of activity level. Avoid alcoholic beverages and liquids high in sugar or caffeine.
- Homeless individuals can become dehydrated rapidly due to a lack of access to water or shelter from the heat. If you observe someone who appears to be in distress, call 911 immediately.
- 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. Information about low-cost window guards for Boston residents can be found here.
- Secure all window air conditioner units according to the manufacturer’s specifications.
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.
Mosquitoes and Ticks:
If you are in a grassy or wooded area, apply a DEET containing repellent that will protect against mosquitoes AND ticks. Always check yourself, children and pets for ticks after returning indoors and remove attached ticks immediately using tweezers. Mosquito bites can spread West Nile virus (WNV) and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), while attached ticks can spread Lyme disease.
Wear long sleeve shirts, long pants and socks to prevent mosquito bites. Limit your time outdoors between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active and apply an approved mosquito repellent.
To prevent mosquitoes from breeding, residents should limit places around the home where standing water can collect. People should turn over unused flower pots, buckets, wheelbarrows, and garbage cans; remove leaves and other debris that can clog gutters and trap water; dispose of or cover old tires; and cover swimming pools when not in use.