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Brookline Emergency Management Team Shares Safety Tips & Resources Ahead Of Heat Emergency

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The Town of Brookline Emergency Management Team would like to remind residents of safety precautions and community resources ahead of a heat emergency expected over the next several days.

The region is expected to experience daily temperatures of 90 degrees or higher, and heat indices ranging from 95 to 100 degrees from Tuesday through Friday, according to the National Weather Service.

The Town of Brookline will open cooling stations in the Community Room on the first floor of the Public Safety Building at 350 Washington Streeet, which will be open 24 hours per day, and at the Brookline Senior Center, 93 Winchester Street, which will be open weekdays from 08:30 a.m. to 05:00 p.m. Masks are currently recommended in public spaces in Brookline, including cooling centers.

Town libraries and the pool are also open to the Brookline community. To view library locations and hours, please visit here. To view the hours of operation at the Evelyn Kirrane Aquatics Center, please visit here.

Residents can access water play areas in parks and playgrounds throughout Brookline between dawn and dusk.

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 Town of Brookline recommends that all residents who can turn on their conditioners on days that are over 90 degrees. If you are concerned that you can’t afford to run your air conditioner, Eversource offers discounts to qualifying customers, and information on those discounts can be found by visting here.

“The heat we are forecast to feel over the next few days can be potentially dangerous, especially to those with pre-existing conditions or difficulty accessing air conditioning,” said Director of Public Health & Human Services Sigalle Reiss. “We encourage Brookline community members to check on their at-risk neighbors and family members.”

To prevent illness and injuries, Brookline Emergency Management recommends the following safety tips from the American Red Cross and National Safety Council:

Heat Safety Tips:

  • Drink plenty of fluids, like water, 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.
  • Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
  • Avoid dark colors because they absorb the sun’s rays.
  • 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.
  • If you are outside, find shade and minimize direct exposure to the sun.
  • Slow down, stay indoors and avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day, which is typically around 03:00 p.m.
  • Avoid extreme temperature changes. Take frequent breaks if working outdoors.
  • Check on family, friends and neighbors who do not have air conditioning, who spend much of their time alone or who are more likely to be affected by the heat.
  • If someone does not have air conditioning, they should seek relief from the heat during the warmest part of the day in places like libraries, theaters, malls, etc.
  • Hot cars can be deadly. Never leave children or pets in your vehicle. The inside temperature of the car can quickly reach over 100 degrees, even on a 70 degree day.
  • Check on animals frequently to ensure that they are not suffering from the heat.
  • Make sure they have plenty of cool water.

Additional Tips for Parents:

  • Limit playtime at peak sun exposure time and familiarize yourself with the signs of heat illnesses.
  • Avoid burns. If playground equipment is hot to the touch, it is too hot for your child’s bare skin.

Recognizing Heat Illnesses:

Heat Cramps

  • Look for:
    • heavy sweating during intense exercise; muscle pain or spasms
  • If you have heat cramps:
    • stop physical activity and move to a cool place;
    • drink water or a sports drink;
    • wait for cramps to go away before you do any more physical activity;
    • get medical help if cramps last longer than 1 hour, you are on a low-sodium diet or if you have heart problems.

Heat Exhaustion

  • Look for:
    • heavy sweating;
    • cold, pale, and clammy skin;
    • fast, weak pulse;
    • nausea or vomiting;
    • muscle cramps;
    • tiredness or weakness;
    • dizziness;
    • headache;
    • fainting.
  • If you expect heat exhaustion:
    • move to a cool place;
    • loosen your clothes;
    • put cool, wet cloths on your body or take a cool bath;
    • sip water;
    • get medical help;
    • if you are throwing up, your symptoms get worse or symptoms last longer than one hour.

Heat Stroke

  • Look for: high body temperature (103°F or higher); hot, red, dry, or damp skin; fast, strong pulse; headache; dizziness; nausea; confusion; passing out.

If you expect a heat stroke:

  • Call 911 right away – heat stroke is a medical emergency;
  • Move the person to a cooler place;
  • Help lower the person’s temperature with cool cloths or a cool bath;
  • Do not give the person anything to drink.

Learn more about heat illnesses by visiting here.