July 19, 2019
Executive Order to reduce energy consumption in tall office buildings in effect until Sunday at midnight
Video available at: https://youtu.be/4wMwoGcTVWo
NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio, Emergency Management Commissioner Deanne Criswell and Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot today updated New Yorkers on the heat emergency. Last night, the Mayor signed an Executive Order proclaiming a state of local emergency due to the extreme heat. Temperatures on Friday will be approximately 90 degrees, with temperature forecasts for Saturday and Sunday expected to be 97 degrees. Friday’s heat index is 101 degrees, Saturday’s heat index is expected to be 111 degrees, and Sunday’s heat index is expected to be 110 degrees.
“New York City is dealing with a major heat emergency with temperatures in the high 90s this weekend,” said Mayor de Blasio. “Every single New Yorker must take this seriously. Drink plenty of water, stay cool and seek help if you need it. To limit strain on our energy grid, I have ordered both City government buildings and private office buildings to limit their energy consumption by turning thermostats to 78 degrees. Everyone must do their part to ensure safety until this heat wave passes.”
“Today is the start of a dangerous heat wave. These temperatures are not to be taken lightly,” NYC Emergency Management Commissioner Deanne Criswell said. “If you don’t have to go outdoors, stay inside in an air-conditioned space. If you don’t have AC, visit one of our cooling centers to stay cool.”
“While we are experiencing extreme heat, it is very important to stay cool – especially if you have a chronic health condition,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot. “Air conditioning saves lives. They do not need to be on full blast to be effective. Set your air conditioner to 78°F or ‘low cool’ to provide relief from the heat, keep electricity costs down and conserve energy. If you do not have one, call the Human Resources Administration at 1-800-692-0557 or 311 to see if you qualify for a free air conditioner.”
From today at 9:00 AM until Sunday at 11:59 PM, owners of office buildings 100 feet or taller must set building thermostats to 78 degrees to conserve energy from Friday morning to Sunday evening. The Order includes exemptions accommodating for individuals with disabilities or health conditions, to protect sensitive equipment or if required for safety. The Order applies only to office space in applicable buildings, not residential space or ground floor uses, such as theaters, restaurants and retail. City government buildings are already adjusting thermostats to 78 degrees.
The National Weather Service has also issued an Excessive Heat Warning for New York City in effect from 12 p.m. Friday through 8 p.m. Sunday, 7/21. An Excessive Heat Warning is issued when a combination of heat and humidity is expected to make it feel like it is 105 degrees or greater.
To help New Yorkers beat the heat, New York City cooling centers are open throughout the five boroughs through Sunday, July 21. Cooling centers are air-conditioned facilities such as libraries, community centers and senior centers that are open to the public during heat emergencies. To find a cooling center, including accessible facilities, 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.
The City urges New Yorkers to take steps to protect themselves and help others who may be at increased risk from the heat. People at risk are those who do not have access to air conditioning and:
Some New Yorkers are at greater risk when it is hot than others. Older adults are more likely than younger New Yorkers to have some combination of the risk factors described above. In addition, as people get older, their ability to maintain a safe body temperature declines, resulting in an increased risk for heat-related illness.
CHECK ON THOSE PARTICULARLY VULNERABLE TO THE HEAT:
HEALTH AND SAFETY TIPS FOR PROTECTION AGAINST THE HEAT:
KNOW THE WARNING SIGNS OF HEAT ILLNESS:
Call 911 immediately if you or someone you know has:
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.
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.
Properly used “spray caps” 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 utilities 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:
"Heat-related illness can be life-threatening to older New Yorkers. Keep yourself and older neighbors, friends, and loved ones safe and cool during extreme heat. New Yorkers always step up, so please remember to check in on older adults during this heat emergency. Stay inside with an air conditioner, visit a public pool, or go to a cooling center — many of which are senior centers," said Department for the Aging Commissioner Lorraine Cortés-Vázquez.
“We urge New Yorkers to exercise extreme caution in the coming days,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP. “We encourage all to take advantage of our city resources including cooling centers, spray showers and extended beach and pool hours to beat the heat.”