SAN DIEGO — With summer heat on its way, the annual “Cool Zones” program has officially begun, providing San Diegans free, safe, air-conditioned sanctuaries from sweltering temperatures at sites across the county.
Under a decades-old Health and Human Services program, more than two dozen sites will be open from June 1 to October 31 for those looking to escape the extreme heat, particularly those more likely to experience health complications due to high temperatures.
The cool zone locations include the county’s branch libraries, community centers and parks among other places. The full list of available sites, as well as addresses and operating hours can be found here. A map of cool zone sites is also available on the county’s website.
In addition to providing Cool Zone locations, San Diego Gas & Electric is partnering with the county to provide free electric fans to older or disabled San Diegans living on limited incomes.
According to county officials, residents must be 60 years or older, or disabled, living on limited income, must not have access to an air-conditioned space at their home and unable to travel to a Cool Zone site to qualify for the no-cost program.
To request a fan, call 2-1-1 or visit the Cool Zones website to complete an eligibility survey.
County officials are warning about the dangers of extreme heat as the weather starts to warm, particularly for older adults and children.
It is recommended that people shelter in cool locations when temperatures get too hot. Working or exercising outside on a hot day or staying in a hot space too long can cause heat-related illness, ranging in severity from cramps to exhaustion and heatstroke.
Health officials urge that people are cognizant of the signs of heatstroke or exhaustion, including having a body temperature of 103 degrees or higher, dizziness, nausea, confusion and headache. If you’re suffering these symptoms, call 9-1-1 try to get cooled off immediately.