EMERGENCY: Call or text 988

Welcome to the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual Disabilities Services

Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services


Heat Safety

Exposure to excessive heat is dangerous and can lead to heatstroke — a medical emergency. Internal body temperatures can rise to levels that may cause irreversible brain damage and death. Children, older adults, and individuals with behavioral health conditions (especially those who are taking psychotropic medications or using certain substances) are at a higher risk for heatstroke and heat-related illnesses. These medications and substances can interfere with the body’s ability to regulate heat and an individual’s awareness that their body temperature is rising.



The DBHIDS HEAT SAFETY POLICY includes Philadelphia heat safety resources, training materials, handouts, posters, and heat safety checklists. Click to view the DBHIDS Heat Safety Policy.

FOR DBHIDS PROVIDER AGENCY STAFF AND DBHIDS STAFF: An eLearning Course can be accessed via the DBHIDS Learning Hub. Instructions for DBHIDS contracted provider agency staff to create a Learning Hub account can be found here should they be needed. If you already have an account, please do not create a new one. If you have an issue with logging into the eLearning course, please contact: DBHIDS.LearningHub@Phila.gov.

Questions about the heat safety policy requirements can be directed to your DBHIDS representative. Certificates will be available after eLearning course completion via the DBHIDS Learning Hub.

See pages 1 and 2 of the Heat Safety Policy for further information about staff training. Click for the eLearning course.


Tips to Beat the Heat
  • Drink lots of water
    Eight glasses a day will keep you hydrated.
  • Avoid coffee or alcohol
    They cause your body to lose water.
  • Dress cool
    Wear loose, light-colored clothing and a hat during peak sunlight. Use sunblock of SPF 30 or greater.
  • Call a neighbor
    Have a friend or neighbor check on you twice a day during heat waves.
  • Take cool showers
  • Stay air-conditioned
    If you don’t have air conditioning, seek it out at a friend’s house or the mall. If you can’t get out, stay on a lower floor where it’s cooler and open the windows. Take cool showers.
  • Know the signs of heat stroke
    If you experience high fever, flushed face, throbbing headache, confusion, little or no perspiration, rapid pulse—seek medical help.
Who to Contact

If a Medical Emergency (e.g. fever, panting, disorientation, profuse or lack of sweating), call 911 immediately.

During an official heat emergency/ warning, contact the PCA Heatline at 215-765-9040

During regular business hours, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., contact the Environmental Health Services Unit (EHS) of the Philadelphia Health Dept at:


By empowering the entire community to take charge of their health, DBHIDS helps to create a Philadelphia in which every resident can thrive.
Our objectives:

  • Attend to the whole population, not just to those seeking services. At DBHIDS, we prioritize outcomes for the entire community, not just those for individuals with a diagnosis. We want to keep people well so that, over time, Philadelphia experiences less illness and its associated consequences.
  • Promote health, wellness, and self-determination. Health is much more than the absence of illness or management of symptoms. We promote wellness and quality of life, rather than simply targeted interventions to address illness.
  • Provide early intervention and prevention. There will always be a need for access to high-quality clinical care, supports, and services. A population health approach provides this—but it also works to screen for, and prevent, the onset or progression of conditions. This allows us to improve outcomes and better utilize resources.
  • Address nonmedical factors that affect a person’s wellness, also known as social determinants of health. Factors like chronic stress, toxic environments, limited access to nutritious foods, inadequate housing, and social isolation can contribute to poor health. Our approach addresses these factors to reduce health disparities and safeguard everyone’s right to optimum health and self-determination.
  • Empower individuals and communities to keep themselves healthy. Healthcare providers can’t be solely responsible for healthy communities. At DBHIDS, we educate, empower, and motivate people to take charge of their own health and wellness.

Learn more about our approach.