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.


NEW YORK – New York City Mayor Eric Adams tonight released the following statement on air quality deteriorating across the five boroughs due to smoke coming from wildfires in Canada, hitting 218 at 10:00 PM on the Air Quality Index (“Very Unhealthy” on the Levels of Health Concern) according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in parts of New York City:

“Smoke from wildfires in Canada began to impact New York City’s air quality today, and conditions this evening have worsened with additional smoke and haze moving into the region. Our team is coordinating with the Health Department, Environmental Protection, Emergency Management, the NYPD, the FDNY, the Department of Education, the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection, and numerous additional agencies across the city to gather the right information for New Yorkers as quickly as possible."

“At this point, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has issued an Air Quality Health Advisory for all five boroughs. While conditions are anticipated to temporarily improve later tonight through tomorrow morning, they are expected to deteriorate further tomorrow afternoon and evening."

“Currently, we are taking precautions out of an abundance of caution to protect New Yorkers’ health until we are able to get a better sense of future air quality reports. We recommend all New Yorkers limit outdoor activity to the greatest extent possible. Those with preexisting respiratory problems, like heart or breathing problems, as well as children and older adults may be especially sensitive and should stay indoors at this time. While all students should still go to school tomorrow, New York City public schools will not offer any outdoor activities on Wednesday. These recommendations may change based on updated air quality conditions that come in, but, in the meantime, we recommend all New Yorkers to take the precautions they see fit to protect their health.”

EPA Air Quality

 U.S. Air Quality chart according to the EPA’s index.

The City of New York recommends the following steps to limit health risks as a result of the reduced air quality:

  • All New Yorkers should limit outdoor activity and stay inside when possible. People with heart or breathing problems and children and older adults may be especially sensitive and should avoid outdoor activities during this time. 
  • If you are an older adult or have heart or breathing problems and need to be outside, wear a high-quality mask (e.g. N95 or KN95). 

Additional recommendations from the U.S Environmental Protection Agency can be found online.

Under New York City’s Paid Safe and Sick Leave Law, covered employees have the right to use safe and sick leave for the care and treatment of themselves or a family member. Employers and employees can visit the New York City Department of Consumer and Worker Protection’s website or call 311 for more information about the law. 

A toll-free air quality hotline has been established so New York residents can stay informed on the air quality situation. The toll-free number is 1-800-535-1345.

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:

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June 07, 2023