Heat Emergency Season Approaches

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The Advance Warning System disseminates information to New Yorkers with disabilities and others with access and functional needs through their service providers. Please share the important information below with your clients, other agencies, or individuals to empower them to make informed decisions.

Good morning AWS Partners,

Summer will soon be here, and with it, the possibility of heat emergencies.

During periods of very hot weather, people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs are at a greater risk for heat-related illness. Please share this document to use with clients that could be at risk during extreme heat events.

Additionally, a heat checklist that providers can use to find out what providers can do and also what symptoms to watch for can be found here: http://www1.nyc.gov/assets/doh/downloads/pdf/ehs/provider-heat-checklists.pdf

Older adults, people with chronic medical and psychiatric conditions, and those taking certain medications should consult with their doctors about potential complications due to extreme heat.

If an at-risk client has an air conditioner, encourage him or her to use it during a heat event. If an at-risk individual does not have an air conditioner, discuss other options for staying cool, such as visiting New York City's cooling centers when open. Your client may also qualify for a free air conditioner through the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP). Clients who meet income criteria will require written documentation from their healthcare provider of increased risk for heat-related illness due to a medical or psychiatric condition, or use of medication(s) that increases risk. Income eligibility criteria are available at http://otda.ny.gov/programs/heap Please note that funds are limited. Call 311 or the Human Resources Administration at 1-800-692-0577 or 1-212-835-7216 for more information.

For individuals who rely on electric-powered medical equipment at home (e.g., respirators, dialysis machines, apnea monitors), registration with the local utility provider is an important step so that they can be contacted in the event of an emergency.

Registration with the local utility provider is not the only important preparedness step, people who use electric-powered medical equipment should have an emergency plan. Consider the following:

  • An alternate source of electric power, such as a battery back-up system
  • If using a generator be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions, local building codes, and ensure that it's in a well ventilated area
  • Include a variety of telephone options (land-line, cordless, cellular) if possible

Depending on the provider, other programs may be available if clients need extra time to pay their utility bill due to medical conditions.

If utilities are included in a client's rent, they are still eligible to register for this program directly with the utility company.

How to Register with Your Utility Provider

Con Edison (serving all of NYC except the Rockaways):
If you live in Con Edison's service territory, you may register by calling 1-800-752-6633 (TTY: 1-800-642-2308).

PSEG-LI (serving the Rockaways):
If you live in PSEG-LI's service territory you may register by calling 1-800-490-0025 (TTY: 1-631-755-6660).

Information is important to your success. Advance Warning System messages such as these will be sent out to let you know of any potential heat emergencies and if the City is opening cooling centers.

Stay safe this summer!

NYCEM Human Services Unit:
Human Services email distribution list (includes all Human Services Staff): humanservicesesflist@oem.nyc.gov

May 24, 2017