PHILADELPHIA — In response to forecast maximum heat index values, Health Commissioner Cheryl Bettigole, MD, MPH issued a Heat Health Emergency in Philadelphia. This designation begins at 12 p.m. on Monday, August 8, 2022 and is scheduled to end at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, August 9, 2022, though may be extended if the forecast worsens.

A declaration of a Heat Health Emergency activates the City’s emergency heat programs, which include the Philadelphia Corporation for Aging’s (PCA) Heatline, cooling centers, home visits by special field teams, enhanced daytime outreach for people experiencing homelessness, and the City’s reminder to the public to safely check on older friends, relatives, and neighbors from a distance.

The PCA Heatline (215-765-9040) will be open between 12 p.m. and 11:59 p.m. on Monday, August 8, 2002 and will run from 8:30 a.m. until 8 p.m. on Tuesday, August 9, 2022. The hours and days of operation may be extended if the Heat Health Emergency is extended. The public is encouraged to call if they have questions about precautions they can take and detecting signs of heat stress. City Health Department nurses will be available to speak with callers about medical problems related to the heat.

“The Health Department declares a Heat Health Emergency when the temperature gets high enough that vulnerable people – especially our elderly neighbors and family members – are at an increased risk of getting sick or dying from the heat,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Cheryl Bettigole. “The best way to protect our loved ones is to make sure they can get into air conditioning during the hottest part of the day. We recommend that people wear masks if they are going to an air-conditioned place, like a cooling center. As always, we encourage Philadelphian to check on elderly friends and neighbors to make sure they’re safe and don’t need assistance. If you’re worried about someone’s health during the emergency, you can call the Philadelphia Corporation for Aging’s Heatline at 215-765-9040.”

People who do not have air conditioning are advised to seek relief from the heat by visiting friends or relatives who have air conditioning. The City will be opening a variety of alternate cooling sites that will be available for use by all Philadelphia residents looking to escape the heat.

Cooling Centers


These libraries will operate with extended hours on Monday, August 8, 2022 and Tuesday, August 9, 2022. Cooling Center locations and hours may change if the Heat Health Emergency is extended.

Lucien E. Blackwell Regional Library

125 South 52nd Street


Open until 7 p.m.


Joseph E. Coleman Regional Library

68 West Chelten Avenue


Open until 7 p.m.


Blanche A. Nixon Cobbs Creek Library

5800 Cobbs Creek Parkway


Open until 8 p.m.


Fox Chase Library

501 Rhawn Street


Open until 8 p.m.


Frankford Library

4634 Frankford Avenue


Open until 7 p.m.


Fumo Family Library

2437 South Broad Street


Open until 7 p.m.


Haddington Library (meeting room only)

446 North 65th Street


Open until 7 p.m.


Lillian Marrero Library (meeting room only)

601 West Lehigh Avenue


Open until 7 p.m.


Logan Library

1333 Wagner Avenue


Open until 7 p.m.


Oak Lane Library

6614 North 12th Street


Open until 7 p.m.


Widener Library

2808 West Lehigh Avenue


Open until 7 p.m.


Cooling Buses

The City of Philadelphia has partnered with SEPTA to station cooling buses with air conditioning that are available to the public at the following intersections:

  • Germantown Avenue and Allegheny Avenue, 19133
  • Wyoming Avenue and Rising Sun Avenue, 19120
  • Broad Street and Snyder Avenue, 19145
  • 70th Street and Woodland Avenue, 19142 

Buses will be available to the public between 12 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Monday, and between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. on Tuesday.

Masks, hand sanitizer, water, and information about heat safety and utility assistance programs will be available on the buses. Press will NOT be given access inside of cooling buses to allow residents to cool off in a private space.

Pools and Spraygrounds

Residents are also encouraged to visit any of Philadelphia Parks & Recreation’s spraygrounds and pools. Pools will be offering free swim during open hours for the duration of the Heat Health Emergency.

Residents can find all of the identified Cooling Centers, as well as spraygrounds, on this map or by calling 311.    


Older Adult Centers

Philadelphia Parks & Recreation’s older adult centers will be open. Older Adult Centers all have air conditioning and are open 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.


Utility Shutoffs

Philadelphia Water Department shutoffs are suspended during a Heat Health Emergency. Shutoffs for non-payment will resume after the Heat Health Emergency ends.


Outreach and shelter for homeless individuals

The Office of Homeless Services also declared a Code Red that began Thursday, August 4, 2022 and 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.


Who is at risk

Groups that are at higher risk of heat stress include:

  • People who do not have or use air conditioning,
  • Older adults,
  • People with chronic medical conditions,
  • Pregnant women,
  • Small children,
  • Those who work in high heat environments,
  • Those who take certain medications that disrupt the regulation of body temperature,
  • Those who use alcohol or drugs, and
  • Persons engaged in strenuous physical activity.

The City strongly encourages all Philadelphians to check in with friends, neighbors, relatives, and other loved ones to make sure that they are safe from the heat.

The Department of Public Health recommends that to avoid heat-related illness, Philadelphians of all ages should:

  • Use air conditioners. If necessary, go to an air-conditioned location for several hours during the hottest parts of the day. If you visit a public place with air conditioning, remember to wear a mask while inside.
  • If using a fan, be sure to open windows to release trapped hot air.
  • Drink plenty of liquids, especially water, to prevent dehydration. Avoid caffeine and alcohol.
  • Never leave older people, children, or pets alone in cars.
  • Those taking regular medication should consult with their physician. Some medications cause an adverse reaction in hot weather.
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing.
  • Avoid, as much as possible, working or playing in the hot sun or other hot areas, especially during the sun’s peak hours of 11 a.m. through 4 p.m.
  • Maintain a normal diet.
  • Shower or bathe in water that is near skin temperature.
  • Cover all exposed skin with an SPF sunscreen (15 or above). Wear a wide-brimmed hat to protect your face and head. Apply sunscreen under your mask to protect your face.

The early warning signs of heat stress are decreased energy, slight loss of appetite, faintness, lightheadedness, and nausea. People experiencing these symptoms should go to a cool environment, drink fluids, remove excess clothing, and rest. If there is no improvement, call a doctor or 911. City hospitals are ready and available to accept patients who need help.

Call 911 immediately if you have or you see others with serious signs of heat stress, including unconsciousness, rapid heartbeat, throbbing headache, dry skin, chest pain, mental confusion, irritability, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle cramps, staggering, and difficulty breathing. People experiencing these symptoms should get immediate medical attention. While waiting for help move the person to a cool area, remove excess clothing, spray with water, and fan the person.

More information about heat health emergencies and what residents can do to stay safe can be found on the City’s Extreme Heat Guide.