This week, we are expecting record-setting heat, due to a heat advisory by the National Weather Service. As a result, many of the city’s most vulnerable residents are in danger. Excessive heat can cause several different medical conditions that are in need of attention. Do not allow yourself or any of your family members to get to that point. Know your options. One of the best options is to go to a Cooling Center.
Cooling Centers are local businesses and non-profits who have partnered with the city to allow residents to visit their centers to cool off during the high heat. They are primarily open during the day, during regular business hours, and anyone can go to them to escape the heat for a while. It really makes a difference if you are suffering from the effects of the high heat and humidity to go into one of these centers and cool off, even if just for a little while. When you return outside, your internal temperature has normalized, and you feel cooler for a while.
To find a cooling center near you, visit the NYC Cooling Center Finder.
Centers in Staten Island include all of the New York Public Library’s branches, including Mariners Harbor Library, The Todt Hill Library, West New Brighton Library, St. George Library, and the others on the Island. Other places include the Salvation Army Stapleton Corps Community Center at 15 Broad Street, the Cornerstone Program at 255 Westwood Avenue, Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex, and Petco Staten Island at 165 Bricktown Rd.
Be sure to practice social distancing, and wear a mask when visiting these locations. The library and other locations will offer seating as well, so that elderly residents can sit comfortably in the centers. There are also a number of senior-only centers, which can also be found on the map.
The Press Release from the City is below.
NYC EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AND THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT ADVISE NEW YORKERS TO BEAT THE HEAT
A heat advisory is in effect for New York City from 12 p.m. Wednesday, August 25, through 8 p.m. Thursday, August 26
Cooling centers are open across the city beginning Wednesday with extended hours. To find the nearest location, including hours of operation, call 311 or visit the City’s Cooling Center Finder
(Cooling Center Finder will be activated at 9 p.m. tonight)
Parks Department will extend daily pool hours to 8 p.m. Wednesday through Thursday
August 24, 2021 — The New York City Emergency Management Department and the Health Department today advised New Yorkers to take precautions to beat the heat. The National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory in effect for New York City from 12 p.m. Wednesday, August 25, to 8 p.m. on Thursday, August 26. High heat and humidity are in the forecast Wednesday through Thursday, with forecast heat indices in the mid-to high 90s across the city. To help New Yorkers beat the heat, New York City will open cooling centers throughout the five boroughs beginning Wednesday. Cooling centers will operate with extended hours. The Cooling Center Finder will be activated at 9 p.m. this evening.
To find a cooling center, including accessible facilities closest to you, call 311 (212-639-9675 for Video Relay Service, or TTY: 212-504-4115) or visit the City’s Cooling Center Finder. 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. Cooling center locations may have changed from last year.
New Yorkers can now also find cooling centers that welcome pets throughout the five boroughs. The City has also partnered with Petco to offer New Yorkers and their pets additional spaces to seek relief from the heat. All locations can be found on the City’s Cooling Center Finder. As a reminder, service animals are always allowed at cooling centers.
“New York City will experience some extreme heat once again this week. Extreme heat is dangerous, and we encourage New Yorkers to take steps to keep cool and stay safe,” said NYC Emergency Management Commissioner John Scrivani. “We have experienced a lot of extremely hot days this summer, and thanks to our partners, elected officials and City agencies, we have many cooling centers and outdoor cooling options available. We encourage all New Yorkers to call 311 to find the cooling center nearest to them.”
“Heat, like what we’ll experience starting Wednesday, can be dangerous and deadly, especially for New Yorkers with preexisting health conditions,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Dave A. Chokshi. “All New Yorkers should stay in air conditioned spaces as much as possible. If you don’t have air conditioning, please use one of the City’s cooling centers or reach out to a friend or family member to see if there’s space for you to cool off.”
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.
To help New Yorkers beat the heat NYC Parks has extended pool hours an extra hour this Wednesday and Thursday, August 25 and 26 — 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., instead of 7 p.m. Pool goers are reminded that face coverings are required to enter the facility, and standard pool protocols apply — bring a bathing suit, towel, and lock to secure belongings. More information can be found at NYC.gov/parks/pools.
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.
- Participate in activities that will keep you cool, such as going to the movies, walking in an air-conditioned mall, or swimming at a pool or beach.
- 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. Screens keep mosquitoes that can spread West Nile Virus out of your home and keep cats from falling out of windows.
- 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.
KEEPING YOUR PETS SAFE
Avoid dehydration: Pets can dehydrate quickly, so give them plenty of fresh, clean water.
Walk your dog in the morning and evening: When the temperature is very high, do not let your dog linger on hot asphalt. Your pet’s body can heat up quickly, and sensitive paw pads can burn.
Know when your pet is in danger: Symptoms of overheating in pets include excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, mild weakness, unresponsiveness, or even collapse.
IMPROPER FIRE HYDRANT USE
The improper opening of fire hydrants wastes 1,000 gallons of water per minute, causes flooding on city streets, and lowers water pressure to dangerous levels, which hamper the ability of the Fire Department to fight fire safely and quickly.
Use “spray caps” to reduce hydrant output to a safe 25 gallons per minute while still providing relief from the heat. To obtain a spray cap, an adult 18 years or older with proper identification can go to his or her local firehouse and request one.
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.
For more information, visit NYC.gov/beattheheat. New Yorkers are encouraged to sign up for Notify NYC, the City’s free emergency communications program. To sign up for Notify NYC, download the free mobile application, visit NYC.gov/NotifyNYC, call 311, or follow @NotifyNYC on Twitter.
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