The New York City Office of Emergency Management and the Department of Health announced that cooling centers will be open in all five boroughs tomorrow and Thursday, June 9. According to the National Weather Service, the heat index is expected to rise over 95 degrees on Wednesday and may exceed 100 degrees on Thursday.
To find the cooling center nearest to you, call 311 (TTY: 212-504-4115), or use OEM’s Cooling Center Finder at www.nyc.gov/oem, beginning tonight at 8 p.m.
Heat illness is serious and most people who die from the heat in NYC are exposed in homes without air conditioning. New Yorkers are advised to call your doctor or go to the emergency room right away if you feel sick and keep a close eye on family, friends and neighbors, especially the elderly. Heat illness symptoms are often not specific and include:
- Hot, dry skin or cold, clammy skin
- Nausea or vomiting
- Shortness of breath or trouble breathing
- Confusion, hallucinations, disorientation
The risk for getting sick during a heat wave is increased for people who:
- Are younger than five or older than 64
- Have chronic medical or mental health conditions such as diabetes or substance abuse disorders.
- Are overweight
- Take certain medications which can disrupt the regulation of body temperature
- Are unable to leave their homes or confined to their beds
Drink alcohol use drugs which can impair their judgment.
Tips for beating the heat:
- Use an air conditioner if you have one.
- If you do not have an air conditioner, go to a cooler place such as an air-conditioned family’s, friend’s or neighbor’s home, store, mall, museum, or movie theater, or, visit a cooling center.
- Use a fan if the air is not too hot. Fans work best at night to bring in cooler air from outside. Use a fan only when the air conditioner is on or the windows are open.
- Drink plenty of water or other fluids, even if you don’t feel thirsty. Avoid beverages containing alcohol, caffeine, or high amounts of sugar.
Never leave children, pets, or those who require special care in a parked car.
- Avoid strenuous activity, or plan it for the coolest part of the day, usually in the morning between 4 a.m. and 7 a.m. or in the evening. If you exercise, drink two to four glasses of cool, nonalcoholic fluids each hour. A sports beverage can replace the salt and minerals you lose in sweat. If you are used to regular exercise, just keep in mind the symptoms of heat illness when exercising and stop or rest if any occur.
- Be careful if you take a cold shower to stay cool – sudden temperature changes can make you feel dizzy or sick.
Check on your at-risk family, friends and neighbors often and help them get to a cool place.
For more information on coping with extreme heat, see the Ready New York: Beat the Heat guide at www.nyc.gov/oem. For more information on the health effects associated with extreme heat visit www.nyc.gov/health.