New York - Heat Advisory For Next Few Days Prompts NYC To Urge New Yorkers To Take Precaution
New York - NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio today advised that hot weather that could be dangerous to vulnerable populations is forecast from today through Thursday.
The National Weather Service has issued a Heat Advisory in effect from 1:00 PM Wednesday through 8:00 PM Thursday. Additionally, an Air Quality Alert is in effect today until 11:00 PM. New Yorkers should use air conditioning to stay cool, go to a place that has air conditioning if it is not available at home, drink water at regular intervals and limit strenuous activity, especially during the hottest parts of the day.
“Severe heat can be extremely dangerous – and all New Yorkers should think first and foremost about their safety and the safety of those around them. Today we’re reminding New Yorkers: check in on friends, family, neighbors, senior citizens and those with chronic health conditions,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “As the weather heats up, find a place to cool down – and stay hydrated and protected from the sun until the heat passes.”
To help New Yorkers beat the heat, New York City will open cooling centers throughout the five boroughs from 1:00 PM through 8:00 PM today, and beginning at 8:00AM Thursday, July 7. 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 the cooling center – including accessible facilities – closest to you, call 311 (TTY: 212-504-4115) or visit NYC Emergency Management’s Cooling Center Finder at www.nyc.gov/beattheheat after 1:00PM. The cooling center finder will be updated with real-time site information at 1:00 PM today.
The New York City Emergency Management Department urges New Yorkers to take steps to protect themselves and help others who may be at increased risk from the heat, including vulnerable individuals such as seniors and those with chronic health problems.
The New York City Emergency Management Department and the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene have also launched a new public service announcement to prepare New Yorkers for the extreme heat. From drinking lots of water, to wearing loose, light-colored clothing, and checking in on seniors and other vulnerable populations, the new video features players from New York City Football Club who encourage New Yorkers to stay prepared for the extreme temperatures. The PSA is available in both English and Spanish, and will air on NYC TV and in taxi cabs across the City.
“Extreme heat is deadly, and our dense urban environment that traps and absorbs heat creates a dangerous situation for vulnerable New Yorkers,” said NYCEM Commissioner Joseph Esposito. “This is the first heat emergency of the summer, and I urge everyone to think about their safety and the safety of others around them by checking in on family, friends, neighbors, senior citizens and those with chronic health conditions.”
“Extremely hot weather can be dangerous for the elderly and those with chronic conditions,” said First Deputy Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot. “This campaign provides easy-to-remember tips to stay cool – like drinking water and going to an air-conditioned place. Call 311 to find the nearest cooling center. We also urge New Yorkers to check on their family members, neighbors and friends. Together, we can Beat the Heat.”
“The summer heat can be extremely harmful, both in the city and on the soccer field. Here at New York City FC, we know that the key to staying safe is being properly prepared so we ensure that our players are fueled with electrolyte-rich foods and beverages before they step outside. We encourage our fans and fellow New Yorkers to do the same and prepare for the heat well in advance,” said Kevin Christen, New York City FC Head Athletic Trainer.
Heat illness is serious. Prolonged exposure to the heat can be harmful and potentially fatal. On average in recent years, extreme heat events in New York City caused an estimated 120 excess deaths from natural causes associated with extreme heat, in addition to an average of between 10 and 15 heat-stroke deaths. The added stress caused by heat can aggravate chronic health problems like heart or lung disease or diabetes without specific symptoms of heat illness.
Each summer, New York City records up to 450 heat-related emergency department visits and an average of 150 heat-related hospital admissions. The risk for getting sick during a heat wave is greatest for people who do not have or do not use air conditioning and suffer from chronic health conditions.
Extreme heat events in New York City are defined as a heat index (which accounts for both temperature and humidity) reaching 95 degrees or more for two or more consecutive days or 100 or more for one or more days. The risk to public health increases as the heat index and the number of consecutive days of extreme heat increase. New Yorkers are encouraged to take the following steps to stay safe and cool:
CHECK ON THOSE PARTICULARLY VULNERABLE TO THE HEAT:
• The Department of Homeless Services has issued a Code Red Alert and has enhanced outreach. Single adults can present to any shelter to seek refuge from the heat. Transportation is also available to cooling centers via DHS outreach teams, which are checking on vulnerable, at-risk clients with greater frequency.
• The Department for the Aging will open senior centers as cooling centers starting at 1:00 PM today, and home care agencies are on the lookout for clients who may need assistance. Case management agencies are also calling through home-bound seniors.
• A small but crucial gesture can help ensure that we all have a safe and healthy summer: Get to know your neighbors, and contact neighbors and relatives – in person or by phone – at least twice a day during heat waves.
• Pay special attention to the elderly, the very young and anyone with a pre-existing medical condition. New Yorkers should check in on older neighbors who may be isolated from friends and family.
• Air conditioning is the best way to keep cool when it is hot outside, but some 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.
ADDITIONAL 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: 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM. If you must do strenuous activity, do it during the coolest part of the day, which is usually in the morning between 4:00 AM and 7:00 AM.
• If possible, go to an air-conditioned building 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.
For more information, visit nyc.gov/beattheheat .
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. The risk for getting sick during a heat wave is increased for people who:
• Do not have or do not use air conditioning.
• Are ages 65 or older.
• Have chronic medical or mental health conditions.
• Take certain medications, which can disrupt the regulation of body temperature.
• Are confined to their beds, have trouble with being mobile, or are unable to leave their homes.
• Are overweight.
• Consume alcohol or illegal drugs.
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 OR cold clammy 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, don’t 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.
• Never leave a pet inside of a parked car on a hot day. Even with the windows open, extreme temperatures inside a parked can quickly lead to fatal heat stroke for your pet.
• Keep cats safe by installing screens in your windows. Unscreened windows pose a real danger to cats that fall out of them often during summer months.
• Prepare with your pet: Pet food, water, medications and supplies should always be included in your emergency preparedness plans and “go bags.”
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.
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 like an inconvenience, your cooperation will help to ensure that utilities are able to continue to provide uninterrupted electrical service to you and your neighbors.
• Set air conditioners at 78 degrees Fahrenheit. A 75 degrees Fahrenheit setting uses 18 percent more electricity and a 72 degree Fahrenheit setting uses 39 percent more electricity. This setting allows for sufficient cooling while still conserving electrical power.
• Use an air conditioner only when home. If you want to cool your room before you arrive home, use a timer to have it come on no more than one-half hour before you arrive.
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