The City encourages residents to use these resources to help make it through the extreme temperatures of summer in St. Louis.
St. Louis City summers, which often bring extreme heat, flooding, rain, and can pose serious hazards.
Summer weather kills hundreds of people in the U.S. each year, primarily due to traffic accidents, overexertion, and exposure. Additionally, threats such as hyperthermia and heat stroke can lead to loss of life or cause permanent injury to vital organs.
It's important to prepare for summer weather-related dangers. There are several steps you can take to stay safe before, during, and after summer heat waves.
Summer prepping your home and vehicle and supplementing your emergency kit with cooling aids such as light-colored, loose fitting clothing, umbrellas or shades, and cooling towels or bandanas are just some of the preparations you should consider making before summer sets in.
How to Beat the Heat
The City encourages residents to use these resources to help make it through the extreme temperatures of our summer season in St, Louis.
Cooling (Some facilities may have restricted access due to COVID-19)
Residents needing refuge from the hot weather are welcome to cool down in public buildings, such as the City’s public libraries and community centers, during regular business hours.
Review the list of Cooling Centers in the City of St. Louis or call the local 2-1-1, for a complete list of cooling centers in the metro area.
Please call the center first as hours may change for holidays or summer weather events such as thunderstorms and rain.
Shelter beds and other outreach activities may be extended during extreme weather situations. During these times, individuals or families seeking shelter should please contact the following agencies:
- St. Louis Housing Helpline: (314) 802-5444
- United Way: Call 2-1-1
- Biddle Housing Opportunities Center: (314) 612-1675, 1212 N. 13th St., St. Louis, MO 63106
Hot Weather Hazards
Stay aware of potentially hazardous weather by subscribing to receive emergency alerts from the City Emergency Management Agency. Text STLCEMA to 888777 to sign up now.
Common heat-related conditions
The most common heat-related conditions are heatstroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps, sunburn and heat rash. Heatstroke and heat exhaustion are the most serious conditions.
Heatstroke occurs when the body becomes unable to control its temperature: the body's temperature rises rapidly, the sweating mechanism fails and the body is unable to cool down.
Body temperature may rise to 106 degrees F or higher within 10 to 15 minutes. Heatstroke can result from overexposure to direct sunlight, with or without physical activity, or to very high indoor temperatures. It can cause death or permanent disability if emergency treatment is not given.
Symptoms of heatstroke and how to treat it
Symptoms of heatstroke include an extremely high body temperature (above 103 degrees F, orally); red, hot and dry skin; rapid pulse; throbbing headache; dizziness; nausea; confusion; and unconsciousness.
If symptoms of heatstroke are present, find a cool place, preferably an air-conditioned indoor setting. Outside, find a spot in the shade. Put the person in a semi-sitting position. Loosen his or her clothing and bathe the head and body with COLD water. Seek medical attention immediately.
About heat exhaustion
Heat exhaustion can result when too much time is spent in a very warm environment, resulting in excessive sweating without adequate fluid and electrolyte (salt and minerals) replacement. This can occur either indoors or outdoors, with or without exercise.
You can also review the City of St. Louis Health Department's Severe Weather page.
Tips to Avoid Injury
To help avoid injury when on in the heat, we offer these simple tips:
- Limit outdoor activities
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- Never leave children, the elderly or pets in a parked car, not even for just a few minutes.
Follow these hot weather safety tips to protect your animals during extreme weather.
The Department of Health urges residents to consider the safety of pets during hot weather. Pets should not be exposed to hot temperatures for extended periods of time.
If kept outdoors, animals are required to have access to adequate shelter, food, and water. Pet owners who fail to provide proper shelter and care for companion animals in extreme temperatures may be charged with cruelty to animals and prosecuted.
If an animal appears to be in distress or is unresponsive, please contact Animal Control immediately at 314-657-1500. If calling after hours or on weekends, please call 314-231-1212.