During very hot weather, the City will declare a Heat Health Emergency. When we declare a Heat Health Emergency, we activate several City services to ensure our residents stay safe.
During a Heat Health Emergency, it’s important to check on loved ones, neighbors, and pets and look out for each other. When daytime temperatures reach the 90s or triple digits and are accompanied by high humidity for two or more days, dehydration, heat exhaustion, and heatstroke can happen. If you think someone is having a medical emergency, call 911.
Remember, during hot weather, NEVER leave children and pets unattended in vehicles under any circumstances. Car interiors can reach lethal temperatures very quickly; It takes only two minutes for a car to reach unsafe temperatures.
A Heat Health Emergency and related weather and emergency information is announced on the City’s website and through the City’s free mass notification system, ReadyPhiladelphia. Sign up for free text alerts by texting READYPHILA to 888-777 or customize your free text or email alerts for alerts and locations important to you by visiting the Office of Emergency Management’s website.
When a Heat Health Emergency is declared:
1. The Philadelphia Corporation for Aging’s Heatline—a special helpline number—is open for calls.
Any Philadelphia resident can call the heatline to get health and safety tips and to talk to medical professionals to discuss conditions and illnesses made worse from the heat. During a Heat Health Emergency, you can call the hotline at (215) 765-9040.
2. Cooling sites are available to the public
During a Heat Health Emergency, the City coordinates to open various air-conditioned locations where residents can go to cool off from the heat. Cooling sites can include, libraries, schools, buses, and other locations.
Residents are also encouraged to visit any of Philadelphia Parks & Recreation’s spraygrounds and pools.
Remember, swimming in Philadelphia’s rivers, streams, and waterways is very dangerous and not allowed. Cool off safely at a sprayground or pool instead.
3. The Office of Homeless Services increases its outreach.
The Office of Homeless Services will take proactive measures to protect Philadelphians who are experiencing homelessness. Call the outreach team at (215) 232-1984 if you see someone on the street who needs shelter or other homeless services. Call 911 if there is a medical emergency.
4. Additional pet safety measures are enforced by Philadelphia’s Animal Care & Control Team.
During excessive heat, all dogs must have one or more separate areas of shade large enough to accommodate the entire body of the dog at one time and protect it from the direct rays of the sun. Owners can face a $500 fine (and can put their pets in grave danger) if they don’t follow ACCT Philly’s requirements. To report a dog left outdoors in very hot weather, call (267) 385-3800.
More information about heat health emergencies and what residents can do to stay safe can be found on the City’s Extreme Heat Guide.