People seek resources to stay cool in Philadelphia's extreme heat

Philadelphia added additional cooling centers, in the way of SEPTA buses across the city, as an additional way to help residents and visitors cope in the intense heat. Those locations are:

  • Germantown Ave. and Allegheny Ave.
  • Wyoming Ave. and Rising Sun Ave.
  • Broad St. and Snyder Ave. 
  • 52nd St. and Larchwood Ave.

Hours of operation:

Friday, July 22 1 to 7 p.m.
Saturday, July 23rd 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Sunday, July 24 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

With heat advisories across the area and temperatures in the 90s, how are families staying cool? It’s a scorcher all across the Delaware Valley, as parents, kids and the elderly all figure out how to beat the heat.

Cassandra McLean and her two kids caught the 33 SEPTA line from North Philly for a chance to cool off at City Hall’s free spray pool.

"I’m letting them hang out in the pool, in the water. They’re having fun," McLean commented.

While fun is a nice benefit of cooling off in some sprinklers, the heat is no laughing matter. Every year, nearly 600 people die from heat-related symptoms, according to the CDC.

What’s more concerning is almost all of these deaths are preventable.

Within Philadelphia, there are free places people can go to stay cool. They include:

  • Thunderbird Lanes in Oxford Circle and Torresdale offer free games of bowling for kids ages three to 15.
  • The program Students at Museums offers free entry for Philadelphia students to 15 museums.
  • Philadelphia libraries offer numerous free events for families in air-conditioned buildings. A list can be found here. More information on locations to beat the heat in Philadelphia can be found here.

The heat can be particularly dangerous for those over 50, Linda Hines says. She is in that category and takes extra care to stay safe. "I have my water. I have something nice and cold to drink and I sit in the shade."

"A lot of people are suffering. A lot of people and it's very unfortunate. Just by giving out these fans, I'm a proud person. I'm proud to be here, in Philadelphia," exclaimed Kitty Hill.

On this brutally hot day, residents like Genovise Scopeland and her great-grandson say they're so grateful a group called ABC Men came to their rescue with a free fan. "It's gonna be 90 degrees and the big fan is gonna be very much nicer for the summer," great-grandson Damien Paz said.

The group gave out 55 fans and hope to donate 50 more by the end of the week. They have 100 more seniors and people with health issues on a waiting list. "The needs are overwhelming. Always a need, but especially around this time when the temperature is hot and we're not talking about healthy folks," Jackie Wleh, with ABC Men, explained.

Anyone wishing to help ABC Men, either by volunteering or donating, can get more information on their website.