Answering the call for heatwave questions

When the heat in the city becomes oppressive, the Philadelphia Corporation for Aging’s heatline swings into action.  


“Some people just want tips on how to keep cool, some people want places or suggestions on where to go to get cooled off like a mall, or a senior center or a movie ride a SEPTA bus that is air-conditioned or things like that,” said Chris Gallagher who manages the heatline.


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Alma Mora and dozen others answer heatline calls. She says many people are asking for free fans or air conditioners, which they don’t have. But she and the other operators have ideas on how to keep cool.

“Drink a lot of water and sometimes it’s more effective to take a second shower than to be using a fan most of the time,” said Mora. “The fan what it does is circulate the hot air inside the house and also I would tell them if they have the fan on, open the windows and I would also tell them not to use the oven or the stove, use the microwave.”

Gallagher says they pay special attention to sick and elderly callers because they sometimes don’t notice changes in temperature.

“We have some people here, a couple nurses from the city’s health department to help out triage those people over the phone to see how they are dealing with the heat and if they don’t feel they are safe they can send a mobile team to the person’s apartment,” said Gallagher.

The heatline, 215-765-9040, 8:30 a.m. until midnight Thursday and  Friday.  On Saturday from 8:30 a.m. and until 8 p.m.

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