Heat Safety Tips
- 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.<.li>
- Never leave pets or children in the vehicle. Temperatures rise quickly even with the windows down and can be deadly. Call 911 if you see a pet or child in a hot vehicle.
- Protect your pets and service animals when extreme heat strikes:
- Be sure your pets or service animals have access to plenty of food and water.
- Make sure your pet has plenty of shady places to go when outdoors.
- Avoid exercising with your pet outside on extremely hot days.
- 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. The best thing anyone can do to stay safe in and around the water is to learn to swim. The NYC Parks Department has free swimming lessons for kids and adults. Visit here for more information on pool and water safety.
- Make sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens and, in apartments where children live, window guards. 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.
- Check on your neighbors during a heat wave, especially if they are seniors, young children, and people with disabilities and access and functional needs.
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.
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:
- 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
Thunderstorm Safety Tips
If you are caught outside:
- Stay away from tall, isolated trees and other tall objects.
- Avoid open areas like fields or parking lots.
- Stay away from water and wet items.
- An automobile can protect you from a lightning strike because the current will flow through the car’s metal frame. If you are in a car, do not touch any exposed metal connected to the car.
- If someone is struck by lightning, call 9-1-1.
- Do not walk or drive through flooded streets; the actual depth of the water may not be apparent. Turn around, don’t drown!
- Floodwater can be contaminated. Avoid contact with sewer water, as it poses a serious health risk.
- Have heightened awareness of cars, particularly when approaching or crossing intersections.
- Never touch or go near downed power lines, even if you think they are safe.
- Report any downed power lines and avoid standing in floodwater, as it can carry electrical current.
If you are indoors:
- Wait 30 minutes after the last clap of thunder before venturing back outside.
- Charge cell phone batteries, gather supplies, and turn refrigerators and freezers to a colder setting.
- If you are affected by an outage, turn off all appliances and keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed to prevent food spoilage.
- Do not use generators indoors. If you lose power and have a disability or access needs, or use Life Sustaining Equipment (LSE) and need immediate assistance, please dial 9-1-1.
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.