FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NYC EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AND THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT ADVISE NEW YORKERS TO BEAT THE HEAT
Heat Advisory in effect for New York City Wednesday, August 15 and Thursday, August 16
Cooling centers will be open across the city Wednesday and Thursday. To find the nearest location call 311 or visit www.nyc.gov/beattheheat beginning at 12 p.m. Wednesday
August 15, 2018 — 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 through 6 p.m. Thursday. High heat and humidity are in the forecast, with heat index values in the mid to upper 90s. A heat advisory is issued when the combination of heat and humidity is expected to make it feel like it is 95 to 99 degrees for two or more consecutive days, or 100 to 104 degrees for any length of time.
To help New Yorkers beat the heat, NYC Emergency Management will open cooling centers on Wednesday, August 15, and Thursday, August 16. Cooling centers are air-conditioned facilities such as libraries, community centers, senior centers, and NYCHA facilities that are open to the public during heat emergencies. 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 www.nyc.gov/beattheheat beginning at 12 p.m. Wednesday.
“We are expecting high heat and humidity during the next few days, and we want to remind people to stay cool and hydrated,” said NYC Emergency Management Commissioner Joseph Esposito. “Drink plenty of water, use air-conditioning or visit a cooling center, and check in on your friends, family, and pets.”
“During hot weather, it’s important to keep cool by using air conditioning and drinking plenty of water,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett. “If you or your friends and neighbors don’t have air conditioning at home, seek out an air conditioned space or go to a NYC cooling center so you don’t overheat.”
The New York City Emergency Management Department reminds New Yorkers to take steps to protect themselves and help others who may be at increased risk from the heat. Those at increased risk are people who do not have or use air conditioning AND:
• Are 65 years or older;
• Have chronic medical, mental health, or cognitive/developmental conditions;
• Take certain medications, which can disrupt the regulation of body temperature;
• Are confined to their beds, have limited mobility, or are unable to leave their homes;
• Are obese; or
• Misuse alcohol or drugs.
HEALTH AND SAFETY TIPS FOR PROTECTION AGAINST THE HEAT:
• Stay out of the sun and avoid extreme temperature changes.
• Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing.
• 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 consult their physician.
• Water is the safest liquid to drink during heat emergencies. Avoid beverages containing alcohol and/or caffeine.
• Eat small, frequent meals.
• 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.
• If possible, go to an air-conditioned location for several hours during the hottest parts of the day.
• Cool down with a cool bath or shower.
• Participate in activities that will keep you cool, such as going to the movies, shopping at a mall, or swimming at a pool or beach.
• Cover all exposed skin with an SPF sunscreen (15 or above) and wear a wide-brimmed hat to protect your face and head.
• Never leave your children or pets in the car.
FACTS ABOUT HEAT ILLNESS:
Heat illness is serious. Prolonged exposure to the heat can be harmful and potentially fatal. The added stress caused by heat can also aggravate heart or lung disease even without symptoms of heat illness.
Know the warning signs of heat stress. 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.
Call 911 immediately if you have, or someone you know has:
• Hot dry skin.
• Trouble breathing.
• Rapid heartbeat.
• Confusion, disorientation, or dizziness.
• Nausea and vomiting.
KEEPING YOUR PETS SAFE
• Avoid dehydration: Pets can dehydrate quickly, so give them plenty of fresh, clean water.
• Exercise early and late: 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, stupor, or even collapse. Animals with flat faces like pugs and Persian cats are more susceptible to heat stroke since they cannot pant as effectively. They should be kept cool in air-conditioned rooms as much as possible.
• Keep cats safe by installing screens in your windows: Unscreened windows pose a real danger to cats, as they can fall out of them often during summer months.
IMPROPER FIRE HYDRANT USE:
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.
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.
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.
MEDIA CONTACT: Nancy Silvestri/Omar Bourne (718) 422-4888
STAY CONNECTED: Twitter: @NotifyNYC (emergency notifications); @nycemergencymgt (emergency preparedness info); Facebook: /NYCemergencymanagement