Beat the Heat is your destination for everything you need to know about extreme heat in New York City. #BeatTheHeat

Stay Cool

  • Use an air conditioner during hot weather and heat emergencies, even if it is only for a few hours. A setting of 78 degrees F (or low cool) can provide a comfortable environment, help save on electricity bills, and conserve energy.
  • If you do not have an air conditioner, you may qualify for energy assistance. Visit the Human Resource Administration online for information about the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP).
  • During heat emergencies, the City will open cooling centers throughout the five boroughs. Visit the Cooling Center Finder or contact 311 (212-639-9675 for Video Relay Service, or TTY: 212-504-4115) to find out whether a cooling center is open near you.
    • If you go to a cooling center, wear a face covering and keep physical distance between yourself and other people (i.e., stay at least 6 feet apart).
    • Note: Cooling centers are facilities managed by agency partners who determine each site's hours of operation and level(s) of accessibility. For additional information, please contact these facilities directly.

Help Your Neighbors

  • Check on your neighbors during a heat wave, especially if they are seniors, young children, and people with disabilities and access and functional needs. Keep in touch by phone at least twice a day during heat waves. Avoid in-person visits to protect your health and the health of others.
  • Seniors and others who may be sensitive to extreme heat should contact friends, neighbors, or relatives at least twice a day during a heat wave.
  • 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 vulnerable people do not have an air conditioner or do not turn it on when they need it. Encourage them to use air conditioning. Help them get to an air-conditioned place if they cannot stay cool at home. Make sure they are drinking enough water.
  • Never leave children, pets, or those who require special care in a parked car during periods of intense summer heat.
  • Heat illness is serious. Prolonged exposure to the heat can be harmful and potentially fatal. Call 911 if you or someone you know shows signs or symptoms of heat illness, including headache, light headedness, muscle cramps, nausea, and vomiting. Learn more about heat illness and heat waves from the Department of Health & Mental Hygiene.
  • New Yorkers can beat the heat by obtaining a spray cap from their local firehouse. Applicants must be 18 years or older and complete a form to obtain a hydrant cap. The improper opening of fire hydrants wastes 1,000 gallons of water per minute, causes flooding on City streets, and can lower water pressure to dangerous levels and hamper the ability of FDNY to fight fire safely and quickly. Learn more from FDNY.
  • Cool It! NYC is a citywide plan to increase the amount of cooling features available to the public during heat emergencies, particularly in neighborhoods that face the dangers of high heat. Learn more about Cool It! NYC and find places near you to hydrate, refresh, and stay in the shade from NYC Parks.

Know the Terms

Heat Index

An estimate of how it feels when air temperature and humidity are combined.

Heat Emergency

Based on the heat index forecast, the National Weather Service could issue:

Heat Advisory: Issued when the heat index is expected to reach 95°F to 99°F for two or more consecutive days, or 100°F to 104°F for any length of time.

Excessive Heat Watch:  issued when the heat index is forecast to reach or exceed 105°F for at least two consecutive hours in the next 24 to 48 hours.

Excessive Heat Warning: issued when the heat index is forecast to reach or exceed 105°F for at least two consecutive hours within the next 24 hours.

Heat Illness

Heat illness occurs when the body cannot cool down. The most serious forms of heat illness are heat exhaustion and heat stroke. For instance, heat stroke occurs when the body's temperature rises quickly, and can rapidly lead to death. Keeping cool can be hard work for the body. This extra stress on the body can also worsen other health conditions such as heart and lung disease.

Signs of Heat Illness

Serious signs of heat illness include:
•Hot, dry skin OR cold, clammy skin
•Confusion, hallucinations, disorientation
•Unconsciousness or unresponsiveness
•Nausea or vomiting
•Trouble breathing
•Rapid, strong pulse
•Weakness
•Dizziness

Call 911 or go to the emergency room right away if you or someone you know has these symptoms of heat illness:
•Heavy sweating
•Muscle cramps
•Light headedness, feeling faint
•Headache
•Decreased energy
•Loss of appetite, nausea

More Resources

  • For information about City services, including the locations and hours of operation for City cooling centers, contact 311 (212-639-9675 for Video Relay Service, or TTY: 212-504-4115).
  • Get information about ways to save energy from Con Edison and PSEG Long Island.