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 issued a Heat Advisory for New York City starting Thursday, August 4 at 11 a.m. until Friday, August 5 at 8 p.m. High heat and humidity are in the forecast for Thursday with heat index values in the mid 90s to low 100s across the city. Heat indices in the mid to upper 90s are also expected on Friday.
“Dangerous heat and high humidity are returning to New York City this week and we encourage New Yorkers to take precautions to avoid exposure to the extreme conditions,” said New York City Emergency Management Commissioner Zach Iscol. “Remember to stay hydrated and if you are venturing outdoors, avoid strenuous activity, and wear lightweight clothing.”
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 centers located at older adult center sites will be reserved for older New Yorkers, ages 60 and older. To prevent the spread of COVID-19, individuals are reminded to stay at home if they are feeling sick or exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19.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 NYC Cooling Center Finder at NYC.gov/beattheheat.
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 which will be activated at 9 p.m. on Wednesday, August 3. As a reminder, service animals are always allowed at cooling centers.
“We urge all New Yorkers to look after themselves and others during this heat, which is not only uncomfortable, but can also be dangerous,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan. “The best way to keep cool is to stay in air-conditioned spaces, like a home or a City Cooling Center. Wear light clothing, stay hydrated, and check in on your friends, family members and neighbors who may be at risk of heat-related illness, especially older adults and those experiencing mobility challenges. Taking a few simple precautions can mean the difference between staying safe and needing health care during this hot weather.”
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.
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. DSS staff and the agency’s not-for-profit contracted outreach teams who engage with individuals experiencing homelessness 24/7/365 redouble their efforts during extreme heat, with a focus on connecting vulnerable New Yorkers experiencing unsheltered homelessness to services and shelter.