Good Morning AWS Service Providers,
The Advance Warning System (AWS) disseminates information to people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs through their service providers. Please share the important information below with your clients and other agencies or individuals to empower them to make informed decisions.
Dangerously high heat indices (the numbers expressing the discomfort felt as a result of the combined effects of the temperature and humidity of the air) remain in the City until Friday evening. Heat indices will reach the mid-90s today and the high-90s tomorrow. The National Weather Service has extended the Heat Advisory through tomorrow, Friday, July 8th at 7 PM. NYC Emergency Management activated the City's Heat Emergency Plan yesterday due to this forecast.
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.
To help New Yorkers beat the heat, New York City has opened more than 500 cooling centers throughout the five boroughs. The centers opened at 8 AM today and will reopen at 8 AM tomorrow. 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 centers - closest to you, call 311 (TTY: 212-504-4115) or visit NYC Emergency Management's Cooling Center Finder at www.nyc.gov/beattheheat. The cooling center finder is updated with real-time site information.
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.
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.
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 seek relief at 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 has opened senior centers as cooling centers, 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.
Checklist: Identifying Clients At-Risk for Heat Related Illness and Death
- People who do not have or do not use home air conditioning AND have one or more of the following risk factors:
- Aged ? 65 years
- Chronic health conditions including:
- Cardiovascular, respiratory, or renal disease
- Obesity (BMI > 30)
- Psychiatric illness such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder
- Cognitive or developmental disorder that impairs judgment or self-care
- Taking medications that can impair thermoregulation including:
- Illicit drug or heavy alcohol use
- Socially isolated or with limited mobility
Please click here to read the Department of Health's Heat Wave Preparedness Checklists for Vulnerable Populations Service Providers
The New York City Parks Department's public pools are also a great way to keep cool. Most pools are wheelchair accessible. Visit http://www.nycgovparks.org/facilities/outdoor-pools for more information on public pool locations and accessibility information.
Hot weather is also dangerous for pets. Dogs and cats can become dehydrated quickly so give your pet plenty of water when it's hot out. Make sure to provide your pet a shady place to escape from the sun and hot asphalt and never leave an animal alone in a parked vehicle. Signs of an overheated pet include excessive panting, difficulty breathing, an increased heart or respiratory rate, drooling, mild weakness, seizures or an elevated body temperature over 104 degrees. Pet owners should make sure that all open windows feature tightly secured screens to prevent falling injuries and deaths. Similarly pets should not be left unsupervised around a pool.
Click here for more pet safety tips from the ASPCA.
Please do all that you can to keep yourself and your constituents safe and cool through this extreme heat!
NYCEM Human Services Unit:
Human Services ESF List email distribution list: humanservicesESFList@oem.nyc.gov