With dangerously high temperatures expected in New York City this week, the city’s Emergency Management and Health departments advised residents to take precautions.
High heat and humidity are in the forecast Tuesday through Friday, with heat indices in the mid-90s to low 100s across the city.
As it has in the past, New York City’s Emergency Management and Health departments advised New Yorkers to take precautions to beat the heat. They announced they would open cooling centers across the city beginning Tuesday. Cooling centers can be found by calling 311 or visiting the City’s Cooling Center Finder online.
New York City opens cooling centers when the heat index is forecast to be 95 degrees or above for two or more consecutive days, or if the heat index is forecast to be 100 degrees or above for any amount of time.
“Dangerous heat and high humidity return to New York City this week, and we encourage New Yorkers to take the necessary precautions to avoid exposure to the extreme conditions,” said NYC Emergency Management Commissioner John Scrivani. “We continue to work with our partners, elected officials and city agencies to open as many cooling centers and outdoor cooling options throughout the five boroughs. We encourage all New Yorkers to call 311 to find the cooling center nearest to them.”
In New York City, most heat-related deaths occur after exposure to heat in homes without air conditioners. Air conditioning is the best way to stay safe and healthy when it is hot outside, but some people at risk of heat illness do not have or do not turn on an air conditioner. The New York City Emergency Management Department and the Health Department urge New Yorkers to take steps to protect themselves and help others who may be at increased risk from the heat. For more information, including heat-related health tips and warning signs of heat illness, visit NYC.gov/health or NYC.gov/beattheheat.
“Hot weather, like the kind we’ll be having Thursday and Friday, can be extremely dangerous, especially for New Yorkers with preexisting health conditions,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Dave A. Chokshi. “It’s important to stay hydrated and stay inside in air conditioned spaces as much as possible over the next couple of days. I ask all New Yorkers to Be a Buddy and check in on your friends, family and neighbors to ensure they’re staying safe.”
A citywide map of outdoor cooling options (including spray showers, drinking fountains, and more) can be found online at Cool It! NYC.
During extreme heat, the Department of Social Services (DSS) issues a Code Red Alert. During Code Reds, shelter is available to anyone experiencing homelessness, where those experiencing heat-related discomfort are also able to access a designated cooling area. Transportation to cooling centers is available via DSS outreach teams who engage with potentially homeless individuals every day of the year and intensify engagement during extreme heat.
To prepare for future hot weather, eligible New Yorkers can also obtain free air conditioners, including installation, through the New York State Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP). More information on eligibility and how to apply can be found here or by calling 311 and asking about the cooling assistance benefit.
ADDITIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY TIPS FOR PROTECTION AGAINST THE HEAT
- Go to an air-conditioned location, even if for a few hours.
- Stay out of the sun and avoid extreme temperature changes.
- Avoid strenuous activity, especially during the sun’s peak hours: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. If you must do strenuous activity, do it during the coolest part of the day, which is usually in the morning between 4 a.m. and 7 a.m.
- Remember: drink water, rest, and locate shade if you are working outdoors or if your work is strenuous. Drink water every 15 minutes even if you are not thirsty, rest in the shade, and watch out for others on your team. Your employer is required to provide water, rest, and shade when work is being done during extreme heat.
- Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing when inside without air conditioning or outside.
- Drink fluids, particularly water, even if you do not feel thirsty. Your body needs water to keep cool. Those on fluid-restricted diets or taking diuretics should first speak with their doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider. Avoid beverages containing alcohol or caffeine.
- Eat small, frequent meals.
- Cool down with a cool bath or shower.
- Make sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens and, in apartments where children live, and window guards. Air conditioners in buildings more than six stories must be installed with brackets so they are secured and do not fall on someone below. Window guards can prevent children from falling out of a window and suffering serious injuries or even death.
- Never leave your children or pets in the vehicle, even for a few minutes.
KNOW THE WARNING SIGNS OF HEAT ILLNESS
Call 911 immediately if you or someone you know has:
- Hot dry skin.
- Trouble breathing.
- Rapid heartbeat.
- Confusion, disorientation, or dizziness.
- Nausea and vomiting.
If you or someone you know feels weak or faint, go to a cool place and drink water. If there is no improvement, call a doctor or 911.
During periods of intense electrical usage, such as on hot, humid days, it is important to conserve energy as much as possible to avoid brownouts and other electrical disruptions. While diminishing your power usage may seem inconvenient, your cooperation will help to ensure that utility providers are able to provide uninterrupted electrical service to you and your neighbors, particularly those who use electric powered medical equipment or are at risk of heat-related illness and death:
- Set your air conditioner to 78°F or “low.”
- Run appliances such as ovens, washing machines, dryers and dishwashers in the early morning or late at night when it is cooler outside to reduce heat and moisture in your home.
- Close doors to keep cool air in and hot air out when the air conditioner is running.
- Keep shades, blinds, and curtains closed. About 40 percent of unwanted heat comes through windows.
- Turn off air conditioners, lights, and other appliances when not at home, and use a timer or smart technology to turn on your air conditioner about a half-hour before arriving home. Keep air conditioner filters clean.
- If you run a business, keep your door closed while the air conditioner is running.
- Tell your utility provider if you or someone you know depend on medical equipment that requires electricity.
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