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.

Good afternoon AWS Partners,

With a prolonged period of heat and humidity forecast for New York City this weekend and early next week, the New York City Emergency Management Department and the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene are urging New Yorkers to take steps to beat the heat. According to the latest National Weather Service forecast, the New York City area will experience consecutive days of temperatures in the lower to mid-90s with heat indices in the mid to upper 90s. Sunday appears to be the hottest day, with high temperatures in the mid to upper 90s and heat indices in excess of 100 degrees.

To help New Yorkers beat the heat, New York City will open cooling centers throughout the five boroughs beginning on Friday, June 29, through Monday, July 2. 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 beginning 8 a.m. Friday.

“Stay cool and stay hydrated during the extreme heat we’re expecting in the coming days,” said New York City Emergency Management Commissioner Joseph Esposito. “You can also help others to beat the heat by checking on your neighbors, especially if they are seniors, young children, and people with disabilities and access and functional needs.”

“Hot weather can be dangerous for certain New Yorkers – such as those who do not have air conditioning and are older, have chronic health conditions or misuse drugs or alcohol,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett. “Air conditioning is crucial. We urge New Yorkers without air conditioning in their home to go to an air-conditioned place, such as a New York City cooling center.”

Extreme heat is defined by temperatures that hover 10 degrees or more above the average high temperature for the region, last for prolonged periods, and are accompanied by high humidity. 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. Those at increased risk are people who do not have or use air conditioning AND:

  •  Are 65 years or older;
  •  Have chronic medical, mental health, or cognitive/developmental conditions;
  • Take certain medications, which can disrupt the regulation of body temperature;
  • Are confined to their beds, have limited mobility, or are unable to leave their homes;
  • Are obese; or
  • Misuse alcohol or drugs.


  • 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 a.m. to 4 p.m. If you must do strenuous activity, do it during the coolest part of the day, which is usually in the morning between 4 a.m. and 7 a.m.
  • If possible, go to an air-conditioned location 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.

For more information, visit and click here. Please click here to read the Department of Health's Heat Wave Preparedness Checklists for Vulnerable Populations Service Providers

More resources:

The New York City Parks Department's public pools are also a great way to keep cool. Most pools are wheelchair accessible. Visit for more information on public pool locations and accessibility information.

Hot weather is also dangerous for pets. Click here for pet safety tips from the ASPCA.

Please do all that you can to keep yourself and your clients safe and cool through this period of prolonged heat!

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:

Please do no reply to this e-mail. This mailbox is not monitored. To make changes or receive assistance with your account, please login to the AWS website or contact us through the AWS website. If you think you or someone else may have an emergency, call 911 immediately.

June 28, 2018