Excessive Heat Continues Along with Air Quality Alert for Saturday, August 13

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Good Afternoon 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.

With the heat index expected to rise above 100 degrees through the weekend, the National Weather Service has issued an Excessive Heat Warning through 10:00PM on Sunday. Heat index values today and Sunday are forecast to be around 105 degrees. Heat index values on Monday are expected to be in the low-to-mid 90s. Additionally, an Air Quality Alert is in effect today until 11:00 PM, signaling that people with respiratory problems should reduce their time outdoors. 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 cooling centers will remain through Monday. Cooling centers are operating with extended hours today and Sunday. Monday's cooling centers will operate with normal hours. 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 nearest cooling center - including accessible facilities - call 311 (TTY: 212-504-4115) or visit NYC Emergency Management's Cooling Center Finder atwww.nyc.gov/beattheheat.

NYC Emergency Management continues to monitor the weather and encourages New Yorkers to take the following steps to beat the heat this week and throughout the summer months:


  • 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.


  • 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 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)
      • Diabetes
      • 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:
    • Diuretics
    • Anticholinergics
    • Neuroleptics
  • 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

The Advance Warning System (AWS) alerts organizations who work with people with disabilities and access and functional needs to various types of hazards and emergencies in New York City that may affect people's independence and daily lives. Participating organizations receive public preparedness and emergency information that they can relay to their clients and other similar agencies. If you work for an organization that serves people with disabilities or access and functional needs you can subscribe for AWS Alerts at the following link: https://advancewarningsystemnyc.org/.

August 13, 2016