Heat wave through the weekend

As temperatures increase in New York City throughout the week, NYC Emergency Management and the Health Department advise New Yorkers to prepare for the extreme heat. According to the latest National Weather Service forecast, temperatures and heat indices will increase this week, reaching dangerously high levels by the weekend.

To help New Yorkers beat the heat, New York City will open cooling centers throughout the five boroughs through Sunday, July 21. 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 NYC.gov/beattheheat beginning 8 a.m. Wednesday.

StuyTown sent out a notice to residents with precautions on how to take precautions during the extremely hot weather:

  • Check on elderly neighbors and friends who do not have air conditioning
  • Drink plenty of fluids and stay out of direct sunlight
  • In the case of a heat-related or other medical emergencies, call 911 immediately

The community center, located at 449 E. 14th St. on the 1st Avenue Loop, is air-conditioned and open daily. On Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, hours will be 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. On Tuesday and Thursday, the community center will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The community center will have extended hours until 10 p.m. this week through July 22, as well as days when the NYC Office of Emergency Management declares a heat emergency. Residents who require special assistance should register with Public Safety by calling (212) 598-5233.

To conserve energy and help reduce the chance of a power outage during heat waves, unplug any non-essential items in your apartment and turn off air conditioners and lights when not home. In the event of an outage, have flashlights and a battery-powered radio on hand and store extra water.

Heat indices on Thursday are forecast to be in the low to mid-90. The peak heat is expected into the weekend, with temperatures in the mid to upper 90s and heat indices close to 105 degrees on Friday and close to 107 degrees on Saturday. Heat indices remain around 100 degrees on Sunday. The National Weather Service has also indicated a potential for thunderstorms Wednesday evening through Thursday morning that could bring heavy rain and high winds to the area. The Department of Buildings (DOB) has issued a weather advisory to remind property owners, contractors, and crane operators to take precautionary measures and secure their construction sites, buildings, and equipment. For more information, visit NYC.gov/Buildings.

In New York City, most heat-related deaths occur after exposure to heat in homes without air conditioners. Air conditioning is the best way to stay safe and healthy when it is hot outside, but some people at risk of heat illness do not have or do not turn on an air conditioner.

The New York City Emergency Management Department and the Health Department urge 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:

  • Have chronic medical, mental health, cognitive or developmental conditions
  • Take certain medicines that can affect body temperature
  • Have limited mobility or are unable to leave their homes
  • Are obese
  • Misuse of alcohol or drugs

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. African Americans are twice as likely to die from heatstroke compared to Whites due in part to social and economic disparities, including access to air conditioning. Certain neighborhoods are also more vulnerable to the health impacts of heat than other neighborhoods; visit the NYC Environment and Health Data portal to learn more about the Heat Vulnerability Index.

For more tips on hot weather safety, call 311 or visit the Office of Emergency Management’s website at nyc.gov/oem.

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