Delaware County Announces Its 2024 Heat Emergency Plan

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Released: June 26, 2024

Delaware County Announces Its 2024 Heat Emergency Plan

Vulnerable residents provided with resources to cope with extreme heat, including cooling fans for Delaware County seniors.

Delaware County Council Chair Dr. Monica Taylor and Vice Chair Richard Womack joined County Office of Services for the Aging (COSA) Director Barbara Nicolardi and PECO External Affairs Manager Michele Garrity to announce the County’s 2024 Heat Emergency Plan on June 26 outside the COSA offices at the Baldwin Tower complex in Eddystone. The announcement also included a generous donation of 100 fans by PECO to help ensure Delaware County seniors can stay cool during the hot summer months ahead.

The announcement of the County’s updated Heat Emergency Plan comes as Delaware County has experienced daily maximum temperatures in excess of 90 degrees nearly every day since the official start of summer on June 21.

“The summer months bring sunshine and warmer temperatures that many of us enjoy, but it's important to remember that the heat can also pose serious risks, particularly to our older and more vulnerable residents,” said Council Chair Taylor. “Our County’s Heat Plan outlines important safety precautions, available resources, and emphasizes the need to check on loved ones and neighbors.”

Each summer, the County releases an updated Heat Emergency Plan with COSA and the County’s Health Department working to provide assistance to residents to address extreme heat. County departments provide a variety of services to residents, especially to vulnerable and aging residents.

During extreme heat, select Senior Centers and adult daycares will extend their hours, Care Managers and Homebound drivers check in on residents, and outreach to homeless individuals and those with mental health challenges is conducted, helping ensure the safety of all community members.

“Our team at COSA works diligently to ensure our seniors have the support they need during extreme heat," said COSA Director Nicolardi. "We're just a call away, ready to assist. Senior centers and libraries are great places to stay cool, and we have resources like cooling fans for seniors who can’t afford to purchase their own to help them beat the heat.”

COSA also operates a 24/7 Weather Information Line with recorded tips and advisories, accessible at (610) 872-1558. The Weather Information Link is regularly updated for significant weather events—including temperature changes, storm updates, emergency info, and locations for residents to seek heat relief and shelter. Residents can also reach a live COSA staff member at (610) 490-1300 during the week from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Residents are encouraged to visit the County’s Heat Information web page at DelcoPA.Gov/HeatPlan to review the plan and learn about the resources the County provides during the summer season, and to check in with the elderly, the disabled, family members, and those neighbors who are at greater risk for heat-related illnesses. Senior residents are also advised to check the COSA website at for Senior Center locations and updated hours of operation.

Cooling Fans for Seniors Courtesy of COSA and PECO

In addition to the guidance and action items detailed in the County’s Heat Emergency Plan, COSA purchases and delivers hundreds of cooling fans to COSA-funded Senior Centers throughout the County for distribution to residents in need each year.

PECO generously supplements this program through their own Summer Fan Distribution Program, donating over 500 fans each year across southeastern Pennsylvania, with 100 fans already delivered to Delaware County— a tradition that now dates back over two decades.

Michele Garrity of PECO emphasized the company's commitment to community welfare. “PECO is proud to support Delaware County's efforts to combat heat stress among its senior residents and has been proud to do so for over 20 years. Our annual donation of cooling fans is a key part of our commitment to enhancing the quality of life in the communities we serve.”

For assistance in receiving a fan, Delaware County residents of limited means are urged to call their local senior center (listed on the COSA website at or contact COSA directly at (610) 490-1300.

The full 2024 Heat Emergency Plan can be found on the County website at DelcoPA.Gov/HeatPlan.

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About Delaware County

Delaware County, presently consisting of over 184 square miles divided into forty-nine municipalities is the oldest settled section of Pennsylvania.

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