Philadelphia heat wave: Heat Health Emergency in effect through Sunday

The City of Philadelphia declared a Heat Health Emergency and it runs through Sunday as oppressive temperatures drape the region.

What it means is the city is activating cooling centers at public libraries, rec centers and other locales.

Residents can also call the city’s Heatline, where nurses are on hand to answer questions about staying safe in the heat. That number is 215-765-9040.

Signs of heat-related illnesses

According to the city, muscle cramps may be the first sign of heat-related illness. Symptoms can include heavy sweating and painful muscle spasms (often in the abdomen, arms, or calves.)

Seek medical attention if the muscle cramps persist for more than one hour.


Heat exhaustion can develop after several days of exposure to high temperatures. Those most prone to heat exhaustion are elderly people, people with high blood pressure, and people working or exercising in a hot environment.

Symptoms of heat exhaustion can include heavy sweating, headache, weakness, fatigue, dizziness, fainting, nausea or vomiting.

According to the CDC, a heat illness should be considered an emergency and a call for emergency assistance should be made immediately. While help is on the way, FOX News reports the ill person should be moved to a cool area and their clothing should be removed. If possible, immerse the person in a tub of ice water and if one is not available, then it is recommended the person be placed in a tarp with ice and water. If that is not possible, then soak the person in cold water from a hose or shower and apply cold, wet towels to as much of the skin as possible.

For more information, including finding pools and cooling centers, visit the preparing for extreme heat wave page, here.