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Brookline Department Of Public Health Declares Heat Emergency, Cooling Centers Open In Town


With temperatures expected to be in the 90s this week, the Brookline Department of Public Health has declared a Heat Emergency effective today through Friday, August 13, 2021, and announces that cooling centers are open around town.

Temperatures are currently forecast to be in the lower-mid 90s in Massachusetts beginning Wednesday and lasting through Friday. High temperatures, along with high humidity levels, are expected to result in high heat indexes, which is the “feel like” temperature, over the next few days.

On Wednesday, August 11, 2021, from 11:00 a.m. to 08:00 p.m., a heat advisory is in effect with heat index values expected to reach up to 100 degrees. Then, from Thursday, August 12, 2021, at 11:00 a.m. until Friday, August 13, 2021, at 08:00 p.m., an excessive heat watch is in effect with dangerously hot conditions and heat index values between 105 and 109 degrees possible.

The available cooling centers include:

  • Brookline Public Safety Building Community Room, 350 Washington Street, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • Brookline Senior Center, 93 Winchester Street, Monday – Friday 08:30 a.m. – 05:00 p.m.
  • The Public Libraries of Brookline
    • Main Branch, 361 Washington Street, Monday – Thursday 10:00 a.m. – 09:00 p.m., Friday 10:00 a.m. – 05:00 p.m., closed Saturday and Sunday Coolidge Corner Branch
    • 31 Pleasant Street, Monday and Wednesday 10:00 a.m. – 06:00 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday 10:00 a.m. – 09:00 p.m., Friday and Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 05:00 p.m., closed Sunday Putterham Branch
    • 959 West Roxbury Parkway, Monday and Wednesday 10:00 a.m. – 09:00 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday 10:00 a.m. – 06:00 p.m., Friday 10:00 a.m. – 05:00 p.m., closed Saturday and Sunday

Face coverings are required inside all town buildings in order to limit the spread of CoViD-19.

The Brookline Housing Authority will have air-conditioned community rooms available for residents of 61 Park Street, 90 Longwood Avenue, 50 Pleasant Street, 190 Harvard Street and Colonel Floyd at 28 Foster Street.

The Evelyn Kirrane Aquatics Center, located at 60 Tappan Street, is also open. Brookline residents may use the pool free of charge for open swim only during designated hours while a heat alert is in effect. Residents can call 617-713-5435 for hours and additional details.

In addition, the Brookline Department of Public Health is advising the public of the following:

Tips for Preventing Heat-Related Illnesses:

  • Never leave children, adults or pets alone in a closed, parked vehicle.
  • Keep cool – Spend as much time as you can in cooler surroundings. Use air conditioners to cool the air.
  • Slow down, avoid strenuous activity. If you are not accustomed to working or exercising in a hot environment, start slowly and pick up the pace gradually. If exertion in the heat makes your heart pound and leaves you gasping for breath, stop all activity. Get into a cool or shady area, and rest, especially if you become lightheaded, confused, weak, or faint.
  • Protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and by putting on sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher 30 minutes prior to going out.
  • Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing that will cover as much skin as possible.
  • Plan outdoor games and activities for early morning or evening. Rest often in shady areas to allow your body to recover.
  • Avoid extreme temperature changes.
  • When the temperature is in the 90’s, fans will not prevent heat-related illness. Taking a cool shower or bath is a better way to cool off.
  • Drink plenty of fluids, even if you do not feel thirsty, and avoid alcoholic beverages, drinks with caffeine and large amounts of sugar—these actually cause you to lose more body fluid.
  • Use your stove less and try to cook your meals in the cooler part of the day.
  • Keep pets hydrated.
  • Although anyone can suffer from heat-related illness at any time, some people are at greater risk than others.
    • Check regularly on: infants and young children, people aged 65 or older, people who have a mental illness, those who are physically ill or who have heart disease or high blood pressure;
    • Visit adults at risk at least twice a day and closely watch them for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Infants and young children, of course, need much more frequent watching.
  • Learn the signs and symptoms of heat-related illnesses and how to treat them here.