The City of Chicago Offers Residents Safety Tips and Resources to Beat the Heat and Water Safety Tips

June 18, 2024

OEMC continues to monitor conditions with the National Weather Service. Cooling Centers will be open Tuesday, June 18 and at select locations on Wednesday, June 19


CHICAGO – With heat and humidity being forecasted the Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) encourages residents to be prepared for extreme heat and severe weather impacts. As extreme weather can be hazardous and unpredictable, OEMC and City departments are reminding residents and visitors of safety tips and the resources available in a heat emergency to help alleviate the impact.

Public safety is the top priority of the City of Chicago and OEMC will work closely with the National Weather Service in Chicago to monitor conditions. Should emergencies, severe storms or extreme heat arise, OEMC will coordinate the City’s response by working with departments citywide to assist residents and vulnerable populations. Should the National Weather Service (NWS) issue an extreme heat warning, the city’s emergency response plan is activated.
To receive the latest updates on heat advisories and weather emergencies, residents can register for the City’s emergency alert notifications at, check OEMC’s social media pages, tune to local media or download the Chicago OEMC App.
Cooling Centers Open on Tuesday, June 18
The Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) has activated cooling centers at the City’s six community service centers.
  • Englewood Center – 1140 W. 79th Street
  • Garfield Center – 10 S. Kedzie Ave.
  • King Center – 4314 S. Cottage Grove
  • North Area Center – 845 W. Wilson Ave.
  • South Chicago Center – 8650 S. Commercial Ave.
  • Trina Davila Center – 4312 W. North Ave.
The cooling centers are open Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For those needing shelter placement, the Garfield Community Service Center at 10 South Kedzie is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for cooling and 24/7 hours to connect families and residents to emergency shelter.  For additional information about the city's cooling centers please call 3-1-1, visit and City of Chicago Social Media.
Park District and Chicago Public Library Locations
During hours of operation, residents can also find relief in one of the City’s Chicago Public Library locations and more than Chicago Park District fieldhouses as well as pools and splash pads located throughout the city. City of Chicago :: Cooling Areas
Cooling Centers Open on Wednesday, June 19 (Juneteenth City Holiday)
Due to the holiday, the Garfield Community Service Center at 10 S. Kedzie Ave. will be the only DFSS cooling center location open on Wednesday, June 19 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The building is open 24/7 to help connect residents to emergency shelter.
Park District and Chicago Public Library Locations
All Chicago Public Library locations will be closed due to the City Holiday. Park District locations  will have 106 locations open on Wednesday June 19 and can be found at Juneteenth Holiday Hours 2024-0.pdf ( Park District locations include field houses, splash pads and pools.
The Chicago Cultural Center at 78 East Washington will provide a cooling area in Randolph Square from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For additional information about the city's cooling centers please call 3-1-1, visit and City of Chicago Social Media.
Well-Being Checks
When the temperatures climb to extreme levels, it is important to check on relatives, neighbors, seniors, and our vulnerable population. If you are unable to make contact, you can request a well-being check by downloading the CHI311 app, visiting, or calling 3-1-1. If there is a medical emergency due to a heat related illness, call 9-1-1.
If conditions warrant, an extreme heat warning will be issued by the National Weather Service (NWS) when the heat index is expected to exceed 105°-110°F for at least two consecutive days. Once issued, the city’s emergency response plan is activated.
Tips to Beat the Heat
  • Stay hydrated – drink lots of water, AVOID alcohol, caffeine, sodas.
  • Stay inside, if you do not have air conditioning, keep shades drawn and blinds closed, but windows slightly open.
  • Keep electric lights off or turned down.
  • Minimize use of your oven and stove.
  • Wear loose, light, cotton clothing.
  • Take cool baths and showers.
  • Do not leave anyone (including pets) in a parked car, even for a few minutes.
The Chicago Department of Buildings (DOB) advises property owners and building managers to check their electrical and cooling equipment now to make sure it is in working order before the temperatures really start to rise.
The Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC), Chicago Fire Department, Chicago Police Department and Chicago Park District, are reminding residents and visitors out and about on Chicago’s Lakefront and River to prevent water rescues and emergencies by adhering to boating rules and keep safety in mind on beaches and pools.
The Chicago Park District urges patrons to enjoy the beaches safely and responsibly and look for “No Swimming Allowed” signage that indicates that swimming is not sanctioned in that area. Visitors should consult the district’s website or social media platforms to ensure water conditions are safe for swimming before heading out to the beach and only enter the water when a lifeguard is on duty. Swim hours are 11am to 7pm, daily through Labor Day.
Lakefront/Beach Safety:
  • Wear a Life Jacket:  Not only having a life jacket but wearing it properly is the first defense against drownings. Life jackets come in numerous sizes and types designed for different activities. The life jacket you wear to the pool may not be suitable for kayaking on a river as well. Always check the manufacturer tag for any weight maximums and usage designation as well as the United States Coast Guard Life Jacket requirements.
  • Boaters should be mindful of break wall locations at all times: When water levels rise high enough to cover the walls, boaters may be at risk of serious injury and vessel damage.
  • Boating Under the Influence is just as deadly as drinking and driving:  It is illegal to operate a boat while under the influence of alcohol or drugs in every state. The Coast Guard also enforces a federal law that prohibits BUI. This law pertains to ALL boats including canoes and rowboats.
  • Learn to Swim: Learning to swim can be fun and easy, no matter your age. Check out local swim programs at schools, community centers, and the Park District. Go to the Chicago Park District website for further details on Swimming Lessons offered in your area.
  • Never Swim Alone or at night: Swimming alone or in the dark is extremely dangerous and can end in tragedy. Even when at personal pools and spas, swimming without a buddy is never safe and should not be done.
  • Swim Near Lifeguards: Swimming at a Lifeguard protected pool or beach is essential to safety. Lifeguards are trained in numerous rescue skills, CPR, AED usage, and much more. Listen to their rules and instructions as they are there for your safety and enjoyment. Never rely on lifeguards as “babysitters” for children in the water, if your child is in the water, you should be too.
  • Take a CPR class!: Learning CPR is easy and an essential skill for the bystander who may witness an aquatic emergency. Take a CPR class this summer at your local Fire Station, Hospital, or other agency and increase your readiness to help a loved one or someone else in need. Visit the American Heart Association or American Red Cross websites for details on how and where to sign up for a class near you!
  • Report suspicious activity: Protecting our beaches and pools is a public effort and reporting any unwanted or suspicious activity to first responders immediately can help save lives. If you ever see something unusual or are ever unsure, please call 9-1-1 right away.
  • Wear sunscreen, drink plenty of fluids, and have fun! Be Safe Chicago.
  • Rip Currents: Learn how to escape a rip current: Relax, swim to shore but don’t swim against current; If you can’t escape, float or tread water
  • Lakefront Paths: Heed the warnings and obey signage or officials on path closures; Do NOT navigate around barricades or closures – they are there for your safety to avoid risks of falls or being swept into the water, requiring rescue. During thunderstorms, being near bodies of water such as the lakefront paths or Riverwalk can pose threats of flooding and being swept into currents, especially with high lake levels. Heed any warnings to avoid the lakefront and Riverwalk when these are issued.
OEMC's Location Identifier/Pole Marker Program
For public safety on the lakefront, event and concert attendees are reminded to be aware of the numbers attached to the poles throughout the Grant Park area and on DuSable Lake Shore Drive from 5700 North to 6600 South to help them reference their location along the lakefront and within the park if you call 9-1-1 in an emergency. OEMC call takers and dispatchers will be able to provide the location to first responders.
The location identifiers/pole markers are utilized at various events such as the Taste of Chicago, Lollapalooza, the Chicago Marathon, and the Air and Water Show by attendees to inform on-site security of their location. In addition, the signage can be used to inform others of their location as well. They can also be used between friends and family members as meeting point if you become separated. For complete details click HERE.
Sign up for NotifyChicago alerts at OEMC also issues TEXT alerts for lakefront notices and issues affecting businesses or events:
  • CHILAKE: For lakefront notices, TEXT “CHILAKE” to 7-8-0-1-5 
  • CHIBIZ: For alerts affecting businesses, TEXT “CHIBIZ” to 6-7-2-8-3 
Chicago OEMC App
For safety and preparedness at your fingertips, residents and visitors are encouraged to download the new Chicago OEMC App. The public safety tool provides safety information, preparedness tips, emergency alerts, weather information and more in the palm of your hand. Users will also have access to current forecasts, radar, and other weather-related information as well. The app is now available through the Apple App and Google Play stores. To immediately download, click HERE or visit the website
OEMC and Ironheart (Marvel)
OEMC has teamed up with Marvel Comics to reinvigorate how OEMC emergency managers communicate with residents on public safety and emergency management topics. Fans of the Marvel Universe will recognize the star of the new OEMC campaign, Riri Williams, AKA Ironheart. Marvel Images:
The goal of this partnership is to bring preparedness tips and safety information to all age groups, from young kids to adults, with themed messaging featuring the fan-favorite character. Severe Weather and Excessive Heat are two of the topics illustrated through stories featuring Ironheart. Beat the Heat with Ironheart - YouTube
For additional information on emergency preparedness information, visit the OEMC website at Follow the Office of Emergency Management and Communications on Facebook (@coemc), Twitter (@ChicagoOEMC) and Instagram (chicago_oemc_911).

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