The City of Chicago Urges Residents to Prepare for Extreme Heat and Severe Weather this Summer with Safety Tips

The City of Chicago Urges Residents to Prepare for Extreme Heat and Severe Weather this Summer with Safety Tips
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The City of Chicago Urges Residents to Prepare for Extreme Heat and Severe Weather this Summer with Safety Tips (Chicago, IL) — 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 the resources available to help alleviate the impact so everyone can stay healthy and safe.

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 throughout the season. 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.


It’s important for everyone to be responsible when it comes to excessively hot temperatures or extreme conditions that can lead to unhealthy impacts. OEMC continues to monitor weather conditions daily with the National Weather Service (NWS) and issues alerts for advisories and warnings for extreme situations. 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 and Tips

The City of Chicago’s cooling areas located at the City’s six community service centers are activated. The cooling areas operate from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. all week. Visitors are required to wear a face covering while in the cooling areas. Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) will provide free face coverings for guests who do not have one and want to utilize the cooling areas.

  • Englewood Center – 1140 W. 79th Street
  • Garfield Center – 10 S. Kedzie Ave. (24 Hours)
  • 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.

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 splash pads located throughout the city. City of Chicago :: Cooling Areas

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.

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

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.


Create a Smart911 profile now to include vital information to share with first responders if needed. A new feature has been added to include if you have air conditioning in your home or apartment for heat emergencies. This is useful information for first responders if they are responding to vulnerable residents, particularly seniors. The edit your profile or sign-up, visit


Thunderstorms can come suddenly and can include flash floods, damaging winds, tornados, or dangerous lightning. It is important to be prepared to take precautions and shelter to avoid the impacts of these conditions. Stay informed and heed warnings from officials. Keep in mind outdoor sirens are intended for those outdoors to seek shelter.

Before a storm:

  • Keep notifications and alerts enabled on cell phones to get warnings.
  • Charge cell phones.

During the storm:

  • Avoid handling metal, electrical equipment, telephones, bathtubs, water faucets and sinks, because electric current from lightning can travel through wires and pipes.
  • If you are outside, take cover in a stable facility. Avoid taking shelter under trees.
  • Tune in to local TV/radio channels for emergency advisories and instructions.
  • Avoid walking through water that has seeped in your home – it may contain hazardous materials.
  • If you are asked to evacuate your home, disconnect all electrical appliances.
  • Call 3-1-1 to report fallen trees or tree limbs, or clogged catch basins.
  • Call 3-1-1 to report flooded streets or viaducts.
  • Avoid downed power lines and broken gas lines. Report them to 3-1-1.

After the storm

  • Assess your immediate environment.
  • Report fallen trees, flooded streets or damaged public utilities to 3-1-1.
  • Stay tuned to local weather stations for updated information.

Before a flood

  • Avoid building in a floodplain unless you elevate and reinforce your home.
  • Elevate the furnace, water heater, and electric panel if susceptible to flooding.
  • Install check valves in sewer traps to prevent floodwater from backing up into your home.
  • Construct barriers (levees, beams, sandbags, floodwalls) to stop floodwater from entering the building.
  • Seal walls in basements with waterproofing compounds to avoid seepage.
  • Keep an adequate supply of food, candles and drinking water in case you are trapped inside your home.

During a flood

  • Seek higher ground. Do not wait for instructions.
  • Be aware of flash flood areas such as canals, streams, and drainage channels.
  • Be ready to evacuate. If time allows bring outside furniture indoors. Move essential items to upper floors.
  • If instructed, turn off main valves and switches. Avoid electrical equipment if you are wet.
  • If you must leave your home, do not walk through moving water. Six inches of moving water can knock you off your feet. Use a stick to test depth.
  • Do not try to drive over a flooded road. If your car stalls, abandon it immediately and seek an alternate route.

After a flood

  • Avoid floodwaters. Do not let children play in the water.
  • Be aware of areas where water has receded. Roadways may have weakened and could collapse.
  • Avoid down power lines and muddy waters where power lines may have fallen.
  • Return home only when authorities say it is safe to do so.
  • Discard food that may have been contaminated.
  • Check on sewage systems. If damaged, these can be a serious hazard.

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

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).

The City of Chicago Urges Residents to Prepare for Extreme Heat and Severe Weather this Summer with Safety Tips


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