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Philadelphia Corporation For Aging Issues Hotline To Help People During Heat Emergency

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – It doesn't matter where you go, there's no escaping this dangerous heat.
From Philadelphia to the suburbs and South Jersey, it's a brutally hot evening out there and it's going to be a while before we feel some relief.

Seniors are especially vulnerable in weather like this.

There are hardly words for heat that seems to take your breath away. There is very little foot traffic on this scorcher of a day and those who are out and about seem to be taking it easy as they fight through stifling humidity.

"I came to work this morning very prepared with water and my short sleeves and whatnot. I even got short socks on," Warren Price said.

Price is limiting his exposure to the heat and staying hydrated, all crucial steps in protecting yourself from heat stress.

"We haven't reached the peak yet so I'm prepared but I'm taking it very easy," Price said.

With hot temperatures persisting, the Philadelphia Corporation for Aging wants to help those with questions and concerns.

The group activated its heat emergency helpline Tuesday as the city declared a heat health emergency.

The hotline helps people searching for cooling centers, heat safety assistance, and other tips to combat these dangerous conditions.

"Our heatline was activated this morning at 8:30 a.m. And the way that works is that people can call into the heatline, for people of all ages, with any questions really regarding cooling tips, how to locate cooling centers mostly senior centers and libraries," Helpline Director Nolan Lawrence said. "Then probably the most important aspect is to help identify heat stress. So our dedicated staff is trained to understand and handle these calls."

The group's number is (215) 765-9040 and stays active until midnight Tuesday.

It will also be active on Wednesday.

City libraries are acting as cooling centers, spraygrounds are providing some refreshing relief, and SEPTA has placed buses in several areas of the city as cooling locations.

The elderly are particularly vulnerable so checking on aging neighbors could save lives.

"We actually have Philadelphia Department of Health nurses on hand to assess people over the phone and dispatch a mobile assessment unit if needed," Lawrence said.

City officials are asking residents to protect their pets from the heat as well and to keep them in a shaded area. If not, you could be fined up to $500.

If you would like to locate a cooling center or pool near you, click here.

CBS3's Natasha Brown contributed to this report. 

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