Salvation Army Nutrition Center - kickoff for Cool zones

Stay Cool This Summer at Cool Zones

Did you know there are designated places in San Diego County where you can cool off on a hot summer day?

These places are called Cool Zones. They are community facilities, such as libraries and senior centers, that are air-conditioned and open to the public. Anyone can head to a Cool Zone to beat the heat. Cool Zones are established especially with vulnerable populations in mind, such as low-income seniors, budget-constrained families, and people with disabilities.

The sites help people save on energy costs and conserve energy for the whole community. At Cool Zones, SDG&E will have literature and applications for our Customer Assistance Programs, which offer monthly bill discounts to those who meet income and other eligibility criteria.

Today, during the county’s annual Cool Zone kick-off, Jeni Reynolds, our manager of business services, joined the County’s Aging & Independence Services to raise awareness of 116 designated sites that are open now through October 31 for anyone to use to escape the heat. The kick-off took place inside the Salvation Army Nutrition Center in El Cajon, where our outreach team also handed out popsicles to seniors who were having lunch there.

The Cool Zone program has been in existence for 18 years. In 2001, County Supervisor Dianne Jacob created the program out of concern for seniors and disabled persons with health problems that could be complicated by extreme heat. It’s a natural fit for us to support a program that enhances the safety and the comfort of our customers.

How to Find a Cool Zone Near You

You can find a Cool Zone nearest you by visiting this interactive map. Click here to view a PDF list with phone numbers of all participating Cool Zone sites in San Diego County.

Tips to Beat the Heat

  • Slow down. Be your most physically active during the coolest part of the day. 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.
  • 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.