Cool Zones Program

Cool Zone

The Cool Zones program, initiated by County Supervisor Dianne Jacob, has established a network of Cool Zone sites for seniors and persons with disabilities to escape the extreme heat during the summer. There are more than 115 locations throughout San Diego County. Cool Zones are designated, air-conditioned buildings, identified by a Polar Bear Cool Zone logo.

Aging & Independence Services has partnered with San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) on this program since 2001. Low-income, homebound seniors and persons with disabilities can request a free electric fan if they are unable to travel to a Cool Zone site.

This year the Cool Zones program will officially be launched by Supervisor Dianne Jacob on June 23, 2016 and remain operational through October 31, 2016. Cool Zone information is available now by calling 1 (800) 510-2020 and pressing option "6".

To find the Cool Zones site nearest you, click the image on the right to search an interactive map.Cool Zones Interactive Map

View a list of Cool Zone sites

Tips to Beat the Heat

Aging and Independence Services offers Cool Zones to help older adults keep cool during hot summer days. But there are other things people can do to beat the heat:

  • Slow down. Be your most physically active during the coolest part of the day, usually between 4-7 a.m. Pace yourself when engaging in physical activity.
  • Stay indoors as much as possible. If air conditioning is not being used, stay on the lowest floor. Keep shades down and blinds closed, but windows slightly open.
  • Go to a Cool Zone site on hot days.
  • Electric fans do not cool the air, but they do help sweat evaporate, which cools your body.
  • Take a cool shower, bath or sponge bath.
  • Avoid using the oven.
  • Wear lightweight, loose-fitting, light-colored clothing. Light colors will reflect away some of the sun's heat.
  • Air out hot cars before getting into them.
  • Never leave children or pets inside vehicles at any time, even with the windows cracked. Temperatures inside a vehicle can reach lethal levels no matter what the weather is like.
  • Drink more fluids than usual even if you do not feel thirsty.
  • Water is the safest liquid to drink during heat emergencies. Avoid drinks with alcohol or caffeine; they make the heat's effects on your body worse.
  • Eat small meals and eat more often. Avoid foods that are high in protein, which increases metabolic heat.
  • Avoid using salt tablets unless directed to do so by a physician.
  • If you take diuretics, ask your physician about a lower dosage during hot weather.If it is safe to do so, leave windows open at night. Open windows on two sides to create cross ventilation.
  • Place a piece of cardboard covered with aluminum foil in sunny windows to reflect sunlight and heat away from the house.
  • Vacuum, clean or replace air filters regularly for maximum cooling efficiency.
  • If affordable, install outdoor awnings or sunscreens.
  • Call your physician if you feel you may be experiencing a heat-related illness.
 
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