Yesterday, San Francisco broke an all-time high in temperature records and hit 106 degrees. It was hot, really hot—and it still is. The heat wave continues on this weekend, with Saturday slated to reach up to 93 degrees and Sunday, 83 degrees. While housed folks may complain about the rising temperatures—especially since most homes in San Francisco have no air conditioning, it’s crucial to remember and support the folks on the streets living in tent encampments, shelters, sidewalks, and parks who have no relief from the heat or easy access to water. The heat can be similar, or worse, than freezing temperatures. Being exposed to heat for long periods of time without access to shade or water can cause serious health concerns, including dizziness, unconsciousness, difficulty breathing, and, in some cases, even death. Here are some ways that you can take care of your community and support houseless folks this weekend:
Check-in with folks.
Ask people what they need and how you can support. Most people know what they need already; they just might have some trouble getting it. Support homeless folks this weekend by providing exactly what they need, which often times may be very different from what you think they need. If they want to share, also ask how people are feeling. Elderly folks, children, pregnant women, people with health conditions, and people who use drugs and alcohol will be most affected by the heat wave.Call 9-1-1 immediately if you or someone you know is having a medical emergency or showing signs of a heat stroke. Be sure to state that this is a medical emergency and that police should not be involved.Symptoms include:· Extremely high body temperature 103°+· Difficulty breathing· Red, hot, dry skin (with no sweating)· Rapid, strong pulse· Throbbing headache· Dizziness· Nausea· Mental Confusion· Delirium· Hallucinations· Chills· Unconsciousness
Buy a case of water and hand it out to people on the streets and at encampments. You can purchase a case of water from Walgreens, Target, Costco, Safeway and many other grocery stores, often for less than $5. It’s incredibly important to stay hydrated while it’s hot, and often homeless folks do not have easy access to drinking water, especially if they are living in a tent encampment and cannot leave because they must guard their belongings. Let us know if you need to know location sites and where to drop off water and other supplies by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The Dept of Emergency Management recommends hats as well as damp, cool clothes to put on the heck and forehead to cool down.
Provide resources about San Francisco’s cooling centers and indoor spaces.
All pools will be open and free to the public Saturday, September 2:
The following cooling centers will be open in partnership with non-profit partners: