Cooling Centers To Open On Thursday As Philadelphia Health Officials Declare Heat Health Emergency – CBS Philly

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A Heat Health Emergency has been declared in Philadelphia for Thursday. The emergency designation begins at 12 p.m. and will last through 8 p.m. Thursday with the potential to be extended if the forecast continues to get worse.

This means the city’s emergency heat programs will be activated, including the Philadelphia Corporation for Aging’s Heatline, cooling centers, home visits by special fields teams, and enhanced daytime outreach for people experiencing homelessness.

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Officials remind Philadelphia residents to check on older friends, relatives and neighbors from a distance.

“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 Philadelphians 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.”

The PCA Heatline will be open from 12 p.m. until 8 p.m. on Thursday and may be extended if necessary.

Health officials urge anyone who does not have air conditioning to seek relief from the heat by visiting friends or relatives who have air conditioning. The city is also opening a variety of alternate cooling sites for residents looking to escape the heat.

A far cry from Wednesday afternoon’s oppressive heat, this evening at Kahn Park at 11th and Pine Streets, Philly’s own Hoppin’ John Orchestra delighted area residents with the sounds of jazz as the heat subsided.

So CBS3 caught up with folks taking advantage of the cooldown, all of whom avoided the outdoors earlier.

“I’ve had my AC cranking. I only have window units so it was rough,” Gabby Llopiz said.

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“Use the AC,” Shashirekha Markandaia said.

Understandably, they weren’t too happy when they learned the heat is likely to get even worse in the next few days, not sure of what their game plan would be.

“I honestly don’t know. This is the first I’m hearing of it so I don’t know what I’m going to do. Maybe hang out with her, she has central air,” Llopiz said.

“I’m thinking about it because I have a 4-year-old. I don’t think I can stay at home all day long in AC so I might have to come out,” Markandaia said.

One gentleman who saved his daily run until nighttime due to the heat has a great plan, mostly due to lucky timing.

“Fortunately, I have plans to go to Cooperstown for the Hall of Fame induction ceremony where it won’t be unseasonably warm there but it will be more like in the 80’s, as opposed to the temperatures here,” Joseph Harrington said.

Here is a list of cooling centers in Philadelphia:

Lucien E. Blackwell Regional Library 125 South 52nd Street 215-685-7431 Open until 7 p.m.  Joseph E. Coleman Regional Library 68 West Chelten Avenue 215-685-2150 Open until 7 p.m.  Blanche A. Nixon Cobbs Creek Library 5800 Cobbs Creek Parkway 215-685-1973 Open until 8 p.m.  Fox Chase Library 501 Rhawn Street 215-685-0547 Open until 8 p.m.  Frankford Library 4634 Frankford Avenue 215-685-1473 Open until 7 p.m.  Fumo Family Library 2437 South Broad Street 215-685-1758 Open until 7 p.m.  Haddington Library 446 North 65th Street 215-685-1970 Open until 7 p.m.  Lillian Marrero Library (meeting room only) 601 West Lehigh Avenue 215-685-9794 Open until 7 p.m.  Logan Library 1333 Wagner Avenue 215-685-9156 Open until 7 p.m.  Oak Lane Library 6614 North 12th Street 215-685-2848 Open until 7 p.m.  Paschalville Library 6942 Woodland Avenue 215-685-2662 Open until 7 p.m.  Widener Library 2808 West Lehigh Avenue 215-685-9799 Open until 7 p.m.

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CBS3’s Siafa Lewis and Wakisha Bailey contributed to this report. 

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