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Here’s Where to Keep Cool During Boston’s Heat Emergency

Cooling centers are being opened in Boston and communities across New England due to this weekend's dangerous heat

Much of southern New England is under an excessive heat warning this weekend as temperatures are expected to soar above 90 degrees, sending the heat index value as high as 100.

As of 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Boston EMS has responded to over 700 incidents. EMS confirmed Saturday night that 12 people have been transported due to heat-related illnesses since Friday.

On Saturday, people made it a beach day at Carson Beach in Boston's Southie neighborhood.

"It's quite toasty," beachgoer Kaira Lujan said. "Hot! It's hot!"

Some played volleyball and kicked a soccer ball while others took a dip in the water.

"It's very ice cold," Lujan said. 

But the sand's a different story.

"I wish I had sand socks. My feet are a little hot right now. The sand is scorching," she said.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh declared a heat emergency, calling the heat dangerous. The declaration forced cooling centers to open across the city for the weekend.

"I'm real concerned," Walsh said. "I think we're going to have three 90-plus degree days. People are saying on Saturday, with the humidity, it could get up to 100, 112 degrees. That's dangerous heat. We don't really see it here."

He said there are several events planned in the city over the weekend, including a basketball tournament and a parade. He said emergency personnel will be on hand to make sure that anyone who is overcome by the heat gets immediate assistance.

"We're not used to 112 degree days here in Boston," Walsh said. "You're talking about just scorching sun, very humid, very hot, the air's going to be very thick."

In wake of the dangerous weather, the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency is warning residents to stay safe during the excessive heat. Some of the safety tips they encourage others to follow include avoiding strenuous activity, staying hydrated even if you are not thirsty and wearing lightweight, light-colored clothing.

MEMA reminds residents to refrain from leaving children or pets alone in a closed vehicle. Even with windows slightly open, temperatures inside a car can rise about 20 degrees in just 10 minutes. Leaving kids or pets inside a closed car can lead to heat exhaustion or even death.

The American Red Cross also offered the following heat safety tips:

• Hot cars can be deadly. Never leave children or pets in your vehicle. The inside temperature of the car can quickly reach 120 degrees.

• Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids. Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol.

• 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 doesn’t have air conditioning, they should seek relief from the heat during the warmest part of the day in places like schools, libraries, theaters, malls, etc.

• Avoid extreme temperature changes.

• Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Avoid dark colors because they absorb the sun’s rays.

• Slow down, stay indoors and avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day.

• Postpone outdoor games and activities.

• Use a buddy system when working in excessive heat. Take frequent breaks if working outdoors.

• Check on animals frequently to ensure that they are not suffering from the heat. Make sure they have plenty of cool water.

Boston declared a heat emergency that begins Friday at noon and is expected to last through Sunday evening. To help people stay cool, Boston Centers for Youth & Families will be open through the emergency and additional community centers will be open this weekend.

BCYF locations that are open as cooling centers include: Jackson/Mann in Allston; Golden Age Senior Center in Charlestown; Quincy in Chinatown/Leather District; Holland in Dorchester; Grove Hall Senior Center in Dorchester; Leahy/Holloran in Dorchester; Marshall in Dorchester; Perkins in Dorchester; Paris Street in East Boston; Pino in East Boston; Hyde Park; Curtis Hall in Jamaica Plain; Hennigan in Jamaica Plain; Gallivan in Mattapan; Mattahunt in Mattapan; Mildred Avenue in Mattapan; Tobin in Mission Hill; Nazzaro in North End; Roslindale; Menino in Roslindale; Shelburne in Roxbury; Vine Street in Roxbury; Blackstone in South End; Condon in South Boston; Curley in South Boston; Tynan in South Boston; Ohrenberger in West Roxbury; Roche in West Roxbury.

Other communities around New England have also designated cooling centers, including:
MASSACHUSETTS
Acton: Acton Memorial Library, 486 Main St., 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.
Bedford: Bedford Free Public Library, 7 Mudge Way, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday.
Braintree: Braintree Department of Elder Affairs, 71 Cleveland Ave., 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
Easton: Council on Aging at Frothingham Hall, 15 Barrows St., 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and 12 to 8 p.m. Saturday.
Methuen: Tenney School, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
Newburyport: Newburyport Senior Center, 331 High St., 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; Salvation Army, 40 Water St., 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.
North Reading: Police Department training room, 152 Park St., 12 to 5 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Northampton: Forbes Library, 20 West St., 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday; Lilly Library, 19 Meadow St., 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday-Sunday; Senior Center Workshop Room, 67 Conz St., 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday; and Police Department Community Room, 29 Center St., 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday-Sunday.
Norwell: Council on Aging, 293 Pine St., 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
Randolph: Randolph Intergenerational Community Center, 128 Pleasant St., 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and 12 to 5 p.m. Sunday; Turner Free Library, 2 North Main St., 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday; Community Swimming Pool at Randolph High School, 70 Memorial Parkway, 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday.
Salem: Community Life Center, 401 Bridge St., 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday.
Scituate: Scituate Town Library, 85 Branch St., 9a.m. - 5p.m. on Saturday; Scituate Harbor Community Building, 44 Jericho Road, 5p.m. - 9p.m. on Saturday and 10a.m. - 9p.m. on Sunday.
Seekonk: Seekonk Senior Center, 540 Arcade Avenue, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
South Hadley: South Hadley Council on Aging, 45 Dayton St., 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Friday; South Hadley Library, 2 Canal St., 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday and 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday.
Winthrop: Winthrop Public Library, 2 Metcalf Square, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday; Winthrop Senior Center, 25 Harvard St., 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and re-opening at 10 a.m. on Saturday; The Arbors, 40 Lincoln St. 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday.
NEW HAMPSHIRE
Lebanon: Lebanon Library, 9 East Park St., 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday; Kilton Library, 80 Main St., 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday; Upper Valley Senior Center, 10 Campbell St., 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday (for seniors only); and Lebanon Airport Terminal Building, 5 Airpark Road, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Also free access for Lebanon residents to the Lebanon Veterans Memorial Pool from 4 p.m. Friday through Sunday. Pool hours are 12 to 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 12 to 5 p.m. Sunday.
CONNECTICUT
Enfield: Enfield Public Library, 104 Middle Road, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday; Enfield Police Department lobby, 293 Elm St., 24 hours a day, anytime.
VERMONT
Barre: Aldrich Library, 10a.m. - 2p.m. Saturday
Waterbury: Waterbury Public Library, 28 North Main St. 9a.m. - 12p.m. Saturday
White River Junction: Upper Valley Haven, 713 Hartford Ave. 1:30p.m.-6p.m. Saturday and 10:30a.m. - 5p.m. Sunday
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