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September 09, 2016

Staying cool: How to survive the heat

From tips to keep safe to places to stay cool

Here's a list of tips to keep safe and stay cool during the heat spell:

Drink lots of fluids

• Drink water throughout the day

• Avoid caffeinated drinks like soda and tea, and alcohol (they can dehydrate you)

Stay cool inside

• Use a fan with the windows open or an air conditioner

• Visit places like the library, shopping centers, movie theaters or senior centers that have air conditioning

• Shower or bathe in water that is near skin temperature.

Stay cool outside

• Avoid being outside during the hottest times of the day (noon to 6 p.m.)

• Try to rest in the shade to keep cool

• Wear sunscreen, lightweight, loose‐fitting clothing, sunglasses and a wide‐brimmed hat or visor

• Take an umbrella for shade

• Know the symptoms of heat exhaustion and stroke

Watch out for others

• Older people and those with pre‐existing medical conditions are at greater risk for health problems

• Visit older friends, relatives and neighbors – especially those you know have medical problems – to make sure that air conditioners or fans are working and homes are adequately ventilated

• Seniors should seek help if they experience lightheadedness, heat cramps, heavy sweating, thirst, faintness, confusion or nausea.

• Never leave seniors, children or pets alone in a car

• Be sure pets have plenty of cool water to drink, and are kept out of the sun (see more tips below)

Bob McGovern, File/PhillyVoice

Mike Breslin of Northeast Philadelphia jackhammers a sidewalk at Fourth Street and Girard Avenue in Olde Kensington during a 2015 heat wave.

Working in the heat

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reminds employers to protect workers from heat illness. If a job requires working long hours outdoors, employers should take necessary precautions to keep workers safe – providing frequent water breaks, shaded areas and enough time to rest.

PCA Heatline

The nonprofit Philadelphia Corporation for Aging's Heatline is an extended version of its Helpline that provides additional help for seniors feeling the heat.

When activated, the Philadelphia Department of Health provides nurses who answer questions about the heat and how to detect signs of heat stress. Mobile teams are ready to respond to situations needing intervention. The Heatline operates from 8:30 a.m. to midnight and on weekends.

Cooling centers


The Free Library locations listed below will be open for people to escape the heat. Residents can visit these locations to rest in an air‐conditioned space with access to books, computers and wireless internet.

Branches may extend their hours, and residents should be sure to call the cooling centers beforehand to make sure they are open.

• Charles L. Durham, 3320 Haverford Ave. 215-685‐7436

• Falls of Schuylkill, 3501 Midvale Ave. 215-685‐2093

• Frankford, 4634 Frankford Ave. 215-685‐1473

• Haddington, 446 North 65th St. 215-685‐1970

• Independence, 18 South 7th St. 215-685‐1633

• Joseph E. Coleman Northwest Regional, 68 West Chelten Ave. 215-685‐2150

• Katharine Drexel, 11099 Knights Road, 215-685‐9383

• Kingsessing, 1201 South 51st St. 215-685‐2690

• McPherson Square, 601 East Indiana Ave. 215-685‐9995

• South Philadelphia, 1700 South Broad St. 215-685‐1866

• Welsh Road, 9233 Roosevelt Boulevard 215-685‐0498

• Wynnefield, 5325 Overbrook Ave. 215-685‐0298

• Wyoming, 231 East Wyoming Ave. 215-685‐9158

Here's a list of other public sites with air conditioning.


• Audubon Sr. Center, 247 Oakland Ave. 9 a.m.–5 p.m. 856-547-1240

• Audubon Park Boro, 20 C Road. 9 a.m.–5 p.m. 856-547-5236

• Barrington Boro Senior Center, 229 Trenton Ave. 9 a.m.–5 p.m. 856-547-1930

• Bellmawr Boro Community Center, 29 East Browning Road. 9 a.m.–5 p.m. 856-933-2631

• Berlin Boro Inter-Comm. Ambulance, 8 Park Ave. 9 a.m.–5 p.m. 856-753-0808

• Berlin Township Senior Center, 240 Pine Ave., West Berlin. 9 a.m.–5 p.m. 856-767-8118

• Brooklawn Boro Community Center, 101 2nd St. 9 a.m.–5 p.m. 856-742-8888

• Cramer Hill Comm. Center, 1035 Reeves Ave., Camden. 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 856-757-7499

• North Camden Comm. Center, 6th & Erie. 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 856-757-7291

• Martin Luther King Comm. Center, 1151 Haddon Ave. Camden. 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 856-757-7605

• Malandra Hall, 1200 S. Merrimac Road, Camden. 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 856-757-7366

• Isabel Miller Comm. Center, 8th & Carl Miller Blvd., Camden. 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 856-757-7504

• Charles “Poppy” Sharp Comm. Center, 713-15 Broadway Ave., Camden. 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 856-757-7127

• Cherry Hill Public Library, 1100 Kings Hwy. North. 9 a.m.–5 p.m. 856-667-0300

• Cherry Hill Comm. Center, 820 Mercer St. 9 a.m.–5 p.m. 856-488-7800

• Cherry Hill Mall, 2000 Route 38 West, Cherry Hill. 10 a.m.-10 p.m. 856-662-7441

• Chesilhurst Boro Comm. Center, 511 Edwards St. 9 a.m.–5 p.m. 856-767-4153

• Clementon Boro Library, 195 Gibbsboro Road. 9 a.m.–5 p.m. 856-783-3233

• Collingswood Municipal Building, 678 Haddon Ave. 9 a.m.–5 p.m. 856-854-0720

• Collingswood Fire House, 20 West Collings Ave. 9 a.m.–5 p.m. 856-854-1043

• Collingswood Boro Library, 771 Haddon Ave. 9 a.m.–5 p.m. 856-858-0649

• Collingswood Boro Senior Center, 30 W. Collings Ave. 9 a.m.–5 p.m. 856-854-4440

• Gibbsboro Boro Hall, 49 Kirkwood Road. 9 a.m.–5 p.m. 856-783-6655

• Gibbsboro Boro Senior Center, Haddonfield-Berlin Road. 856-346-9242

• Gloucester City Fire Department, 1 N. King Ave. 9 a.m.–5 p.m. 856-456-9400

• Hider Lane Sr. Center, 1571 Hider Ln. Gloucester Twp. 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m. 856-228-9015

• Gloucester Twp. Boro Hall, 1261 Chews Landing Road. 9 a.m.–5 p.m. 856-228-4000

• Haddon Heights Boro Library, 608 Station Ave. 9 a.m.–5 p.m. 856-547-7132

• Haddon Twp. County Library, 15 McArthur Blvd. 9 a.m.–5 p.m. 856-854-2752

• Haddonfield Boro (Mabel Kay House), 24 Walnut St. 9 a.m.–5 p.m. 856-354-8789

• Haddon Heights Boro Hall, 625 Station Ave. 9 a.m.–5 p.m. 856-547-7164

• Father & Son Hall, Ormond Ave., Haddon Township. 9 a.m.–5 p.m. 856-547-2539

• Hi-Nella Boro Hall, 100 Wykagyl Road. 9 a.m.–5 p.m. 856-784-6237

• Lawnside Borough Hall, 4 East Douglas. 9 a.m.–5 p.m. 856-573-6200

• Wayne Bryant Comm. Center, 323 E. Charleston Ave., Lawnside Boro. 9 a.m.–5 p.m. 856-547-2539

• Lindenwold Comm. Bldg., 356 White Horse Pike. 9 a.m.–5 p.m. 856-783-2121

• Magnolia Boro Hall, 438 Wes Evesham Road. 9 a.m.–5 p.m. 856-783-1520

• Merchantville Boro Comm. Center, 212 Somerset Ave. 9 a.m.–5 p.m. 856-662-0922

• Mount Ephraim Boro Hall Court, 121 S. Black Horse Pike. 9 a.m.–5 p.m. 856-931-1546

• Oaklyn Boro Library, 602 Newton Ave. 9 a.m.–5 p.m. 856-858-8226

• Oaklyn Boro Courthouse, 20 W. Clinton Ave. 9 a.m.–5 p.m. 856-858-2457

• Pennsauken Boro Library 5605 N. Crescent Blvd., 9 a.m.–5 p.m. 856-665-5959

• Pine Hill Sr. Citizens Center, 131 East 12th Ave. 9 a.m.–5 p.m. 856-783-7425

• Pine Hill Recreation Center, 45 West 7th Ave., 9 a.m.–5 p.m. 856-783-8422

• Runnemede Fire Hall, 26 East 2nd Ave. 9 a.m.–5 p.m. 856-939-4390

• Runnemede Senior Center, 3rd Avenue & Irish Hill Road. 9 a.m.–5 p.m. 856-939-5161

• Somerdale Boro Hall, 105 Kennedy Blvd. 9 a.m.–5 p.m. 856-783-6320

• Stratford Boro Hall, 307 Union Hall. 9 a.m.–5 p.m. 856-783-0600

• Voorhees Library Regional Branch, 203 Laurel Road. 10 a.m.–9 p.m. 856-772-1636

• Voorhees Towne Center, 2120 Voorhees Town Center. 10 a.m.–9:30 p.m. 856-772-6400

• Waterford Sr. Citizen Comm. Center, 474 East Atlantic Ave. 9 a.m.–5 p.m. 856-767-0222

• Waterford Twp. Boro Hall, 2131 Auburn Ave. 9 a.m.–5 p.m. 856-768-2300

• Edward “Bud” Duble Center, 33 Cooper Folly Road, Winslow Twp. 9 a.m.–5 p.m. 856-767-5824

• Woodlynne Municipal Bldg., 200 Cooper Ave. 9 a.m.–5 p.m. 856-962-8300

Free fans in Camden County

During severe heat waves, the Camden County Freeholder Board often distributes free fans to residents age 60 and older with an income of $25,000 or less. To request a fan or get information, call the Camden County Division of Senior Services at (856) 858-3220.

Keeping pets safe

PETA offers the following suggestions for safeguarding animals during hot weather:

• Keep dogs indoors: Unlike humans, dogs can only sweat through their footpads and cool themselves by panting. Soaring temperatures can cause heat stress, injury, or death.

• Provide water and shade: When outside, animals must have access to fresh water and ample shade, and the shifting sun needs to be taken into account. Even brief periods of direct exposure to the sun can have life-threatening consequences.

• Walk — don't run: In very hot, humid weather, never exercise dogs by biking and making them run alongside you or by running them while you jog. Dogs will collapse before giving up, at which point, it may be too late to save them.

• Avoid hot cars: Never leave an animal in a parked car in warm weather, even for short periods with the windows partially rolled down. Dogs trapped inside hot cars can succumb to heatstroke within minutes – even if a car isn't parked in direct sunlight.

• Stay alert and save a life: Keep an eye on all outdoor animals. Make sure that they have adequate water and shelter. If you see an animal in distress, provide him or her with water for immediate relief and contact humane authorities right away.

• Avoid hot pavement: When outdoor temperatures reach the 80s, asphalt temperatures can reach 140 degrees, causing pain, burns, permanent damage, and scarring on dogs' paws after just a few minutes of contact. Walk on grass when possible, and avoid walking in the middle of the day.

• Use a cooling vest or mat: Dog cooling equipment, such as wearable vests or bed mats, come in a range of materials and prices and help prevent overheating. Simply freeze or soak the items in cold water to keep dogs comfortable while on a walk or lounging. Placing cold water bottles in a dog's bed also works.

Sources: Philadelphia Department of Public Health; Camden County Freeholders; PETA