July 3, 2020

City Officials Announce Resources and Services for Residents to Find Relief from Extreme Heat

Citywide coordination effort to beat the heat includes cooling centers, cooling buses, well-being checks through 3-1-1 and more

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334 / press@cityofchicago.org

CHICAGO – Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot, along with officials from the Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC), Department of Family & Support Services (DFSS), Chicago Park District, Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) and other City departments and sister agencies, today urge residents to “Stay Cool and Stay Connected” this summer during high temperatures and humidity that can pose a health and safety threat.

“The City is working tirelessly to ensure all of our residents have the support they need for relief from the extreme heat,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “We’re also asking all Chicagoans to step up and look out for their neighbors during any periods of extreme temperatures we may experience this summer and to call for assistance when necessary.”

As part of a citywide coordination effort to beat the heat, residents can access services from across Chicago to help find relief from high temperatures this summer, including cooling centers, cooling buses, well-being checks through 3-1-1 and more. Led by OEMC, the City’s extreme heat plan includes new measures to protect against the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic while also ensuring every resident can safely cool off. 

“The City of Chicago will coordinate city resources and services to help keep Chicagoans safe from dangerous heat conditions in the coming weeks and throughout the summer,” said OEMC Executive Director Rich Guidice. “As always, OEMC will continue to monitor weather conditions, and is prepared to activate plans and alert the public should a situation warrant.”

To receive the latest updates on weather conditions and emergencies, residents can register for the City’s Emergency Alert System at NotifyChicago.org. OEMC will activate the City’s extreme heat emergency response plan when the National Weather Service (NWS) forecasts the heat index to exceed 105°-110°F for at least two consecutive days. 

To protect against COVID-19, all City cooling centers have been reconfigured to accommodate physical distancing that enables visitors to stay at least six feet apart. Additionally, visitors are required to wear a face covering while in the cooling areas. The Chicago Department of Family and Support Service (DFSS) oversees the City’s cooling areas and will provide free face coverings for guests who do not have one and want to utilize the cooling areas.

“We hope all Chicagoans keep safety in mind this summer and continue to practice physical distancing and wear a face mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19,” said DFSS Commissioner Lisa Morrison Butler. “By working together, we can beat the heat and stay safe. We can all be good neighbors by checking in with older loved ones and other residents who may be vulnerable to extreme heat including friends and family we know with underlying health conditions.”

Cooling centers are activated when the City’s emergency response plan is in place or as conditions warrant. When online, cooling centers operate from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Mondays – Fridays. Cooling centers are available at the following community service centers:

Englewood Center
1140 W. 79th Street
Chicago, IL 60621

Garfield Center
10 S. Kedzie Ave.
Chicago, IL 60612

King Center
4314 S. Cottage Grove
Chicago, IL 60653

North Area Center
845 W. Wilson Ave.
Chicago, IL 60640 

South Chicago Center
8650 S. Commercial Ave.
Chicago, IL 60617

Trina Davila Center
4312 W. North Ave.
Chicago, IL 60639

In addition to the six cooling centers listed above, during excessive heat emergencies, the City will expand citywide cooling spaces by utilizing other City buildings such as libraries, park facilities and City Colleges facilities on an as-needed basis. Residents can call 3-1-1 or visit 311.Chicago.gov to locate cooling centers.

To assist some of Chicago’s most vulnerable populations, such as homeless individuals, seniors and people with disabilities, the City is conducting wellness checks and outreach to ensure residents are aware of the City's designated cooling centers. Residents are also encouraged to check on relatives, neighbors and friends during the next few days. If you are unable to make contact, you can request a well-being check by downloading the CHI311 app, visiting 311.chicago.gov, or calling 3-1-1.

“The best way to protect yourself against the heat is to drink plenty of water and stay in air-conditioned buildings as much as possible,” said CDPH Commissioner Allison Arwday, M.D. “While everyone could be at risk of heat-related illness, the elderly, those who live alone, those who are ill and young children are most vulnerable to extreme heat and humidity, so we ask all Chicagoans to make sure to check on them.”

Everyone should be aware of the signs and symptoms of heatstroke and heat exhaustion during a period of prolonged excessive heat. Heat exhaustion is a milder form of heat-related illness that can develop after several days of exposure to high temperatures and inadequate or unbalanced replacement of fluids. A heatstroke is more serious and occurs when the body starts to lose its ability to regulate itself. The telltale signs of a heatstroke are:

  • An extremely high body temperature, such as 103°F or above
  • Dizziness and nausea
  • A throbbing headache and a pulse that is rapid and strong
  • Skin that is red, hot and dry 

If you see someone suffering from heatstroke, call 9-1-1 immediately and then try to move the person into a cool place and cool the person with water. 

Additional emergency preparedness information and tips are available on OEMC’s website: chicago.gov/oemc. For timely updates and other information, follow OEMC on Twitter via the handle @ChicagoOEMC and sign up for free emergency alerts at NotifyChicago.org.

 News Release Facts

 I Want To