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NYC Activating Heat Emergency Plan for the first time in 2024 ahead of Expected Heat Wave

Cooling Centers will be open starting Tuesday

June 17, 2024— New Yorkers are urged to take precautions as high heat is expected in New York City starting tomorrow, June 18, 2024. The New York City Emergency Management Department and the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene issued this warning, citing the National Weather Service forecast for the first heat wave of the season. New York City defines extreme heat events as periods when the heat index is 100°F or higher for one or more days, or 95°F or higher for two or more consecutive days. 

“The first heat wave of the season is here and New York City has a plan to beat the heat — but we want all New Yorkers to have a plan as well,” said New York City Mayor Eric Adams. “A heat wave can be more than just uncomfortable, it can be deadly and life threatening if you are not prepared. I encourage all New Yorkers to have a plan to beat the heat and make sure to check in on your neighbors, especially your older adult neighbors, to drink water, and to keep pets hydrated. This year, we have expanded the number of cooling centers available to the public, and they will be open Tuesday morning through Thursday for New Yorkers to keep cool. To find your local cooling center, visit our “cool options” map at or by calling 311.”

“New Yorkers should prepare for really hot weather this week, with heat indices possibly nearing 100 degrees,” said NYC Emergency Management Commissioner Zach Iscol. “Encourage the people in your life to beat the heat by limiting strenuous outdoor activity, staying hydrated, wearing light clothing, turning on the air conditioning, heading to the pool or beach, or spending time at your local library, museum, or coffee shop. Learn the signs of heat stroke. Spread the word that that heat is not just a discomfort – it’s life-threatening.”

“It is essential to stay cool during hot weather – use air conditioning or go to a cool place where you feel comfortable,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan. “And remember to stay hydrated with water or electrolyte drinks — even when you don't feel thirsty — and minimize caffeine and avoid alcohol. Also be a buddy. Take care of one another by checking in on family, friends and neighbors — especially older adults — to make sure they have a plan to keep cool and beat the heat.”

High heat is a silent killer, posing a disproportionate threat to our most vulnerable residents: adults aged 60 and older, young children, and those with pre-existing health conditions like heart disease, diabetes, mental health conditions, or cognitive impairment. Air conditioning is the best way to stay safe and healthy when it is hot outside, but some people at risk of heat illness do not have or do not turn on an air conditioner. People without air conditioning should identify their Cool Options, which are indoor air-conditioned places open to the public like libraries, malls, and museums.

The New York City Emergency Management Department and the Health Department urge New Yorkers to take steps to protect themselves and help others who may be at increased risk from the heat. For more information, including heat-related health tips and warning signs of heat illness, visit or

This year, a newly revamped ‘Cool Options Map’ is available around the clock and allows New Yorkers to easily locate cooling centers, which the City opens during heat emergencies, and cool options, which include libraries, malls, and museums that offer air-conditioned spaces to escape the heat. A citywide map of outdoor cooling options (including spray showers, drinking fountains, and more) can be found online at Cool It! NYC

During extreme heat, the Department of Social Services (DSS) issues a Code Red Alert. During Code Reds, shelter is available to anyone experiencing homelessness, where those experiencing heat-related discomfort are also able to access a designated cooling area. DSS staff and the agency’s not-for-profit contracted outreach teams engage with individuals experiencing homelessness 24/7/365 and redouble their efforts during extreme heat, with a focus on connecting vulnerable New Yorkers experiencing unsheltered homelessness to services and shelter

“This week’s soaring temperatures will activate the city’s extreme heat plan and I want to urge all older New Yorkers to protect themselves and beat the heat,” said New York City Department for the Aging Commissioner Lorraine Cortés-Vázquez. “Every New Yorker, particularly older adults, should understand the risks of heat illness and take the necessary precautions to ensure their safety. NYC Aging’s network of cooling centers will remain open as a respite from dangerous outdoor conditions. Together, we can prevent extreme heat from creating heat-related tragedies.”

“As New Yorkers contend with more hot days due to climate change, it's crucial that government and communities work together to protect those most vulnerable to heat, like older adults, outdoor workers, unhoused people, and those with preexisting health conditions,” said Mayor’s Office of Climate & Environmental Justice Executive Director Elijah Hutchinson. “Our nation-leading outdoor and indoor heat policy work includes planting trees in heat-vulnerable areas, cooling our buildings, and working with our partners to reduce utility cost burden so everyone can afford to stay cool inside.”

“The men and women of the police department urge all New Yorkers to take extra precautions in the coming days during this heat wave, to call 911 only in emergencies, and to check on our elderly or infirm neighbors,” said NYPD Commissioner Edward A. Caban. “Extreme heat can be deadly for those with underlying medical conditions and it makes the dangerous work of first responders that much more demanding.”

“Con Edison is investing more than $2 billion in an electric delivery system that is capable of delivering reliable clean energy and help meet increased demand for power in the summer months,” said Matthew Ketschke, the president of Con Edison. “These investments coupled with our diverse, experienced, and engaged workforce provide value for every customer to ensure the grid remains resilient and reliable in the face of extreme summer heat.”

“We want to make sure all New Yorkers stay safe, including our companion animals,” said Director of the Mayor’s Office of Animal Welfare Alexandra Silver. “It’s important pets have access to clean, fresh water and stay cool inside—we encourage people to walk their dogs early mornings and late evenings, and remind them that animals should never be left in cars.”


  • Those most vulnerable to heat stress include adults aged 60 and older, and people with health conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, mental health conditions, or people with cognitive impairment. Check on people who are at-risk and help them find a cool place to stay during heat events.
  • Go to an air-conditioned location, even if for a few hours.
  • Stay out of the sun and avoid extreme temperature changes.
  • 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.
  • Remember: drink water, rest, and locate shade if you are working outdoors or if your work is strenuous. Drink water every 15 minutes even if not thirsty (avoid beverages containing alcohol or caffeine), rest in the shade, and watch out for others on outdoor teams. Employers are required to provide water, rest, and shade when work is being done during extreme heat.
  • Eat small, frequent meals.
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing.
  • Participate in activities to keep cool, such as going to the movies, visiting museums, walking in an air-conditioned mall, or swimming at a pool or beach.
  • Make sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens and, in apartments where children live, window guards. Air conditioners in buildings more than six stories must be installed with brackets so they are secured and cannot fall on someone below.
  • Never leave a child or pets in the vehicle, even for a few minutes. 


Call 911 immediately if you or someone you know has:

  • Hot dry skin
  • Trouble breathing
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Confusion, disorientation, or dizziness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • If you or someone you know feels weak or faint, go to a cool place and drink water. If there is no improvement, call a doctor or 911.


  • Avoid dehydration: Pets can dehydrate quickly, so give them plenty of fresh, clean water.
  • Walk your dog in the morning and evening: When the temperature is very high, do not let your dog linger on hot asphalt. Your pet’s body can heat up quickly, and sensitive paw pads can burn.
  • Know when your pet is in danger: Symptoms of overheating in pets include excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, mild weakness, unresponsiveness, or even collapse.


The improper opening of fire hydrants wastes 1,000 gallons of water per minute, causes flooding on city streets, and lowers water pressure to dangerous levels, which hamper the ability of the Fire Department to fight fire safely and quickly.

Use “spray caps” to reduce hydrant output to a safe 25 gallons per minute while still providing relief from the heat. To obtain a spray cap, an adult 18 years or older with proper identification can go to his or her local firehouse and request one.


During periods of intense electrical usage, such as on hot, humid days, it is important to conserve energy as much as possible to avoid brownouts and other electrical disruptions. While diminishing your power usage may seem inconvenient, your cooperation will help to ensure that utility providers are able to provide uninterrupted electrical service to you and your neighbors, particularly those who use electric powered medical equipment or are at risk of heat-related illness and death:

  • Set your air conditioner to 78°F or “low.”
  • Run appliances such as ovens, washing machines, dryers and dishwashers in the early morning or late at night when it is cooler outside to reduce heat and moisture in your home.
  • Close doors to keep cool air in and hot air out when the air conditioner is running.
  • Keep shades, blinds, and curtains closed. About 40 percent of unwanted heat comes through windows.
  • Turn off air conditioners, lights, and other appliances when not at home, and use a timer or smart technology to turn on your air conditioner about a half-hour before arriving home. Keep air conditioner filters clean.
  • If you run a business, keep your door closed while the air conditioner is running.
  • Tell your utility provider if you or someone you know depend on medical equipment that requires electricity.

For more information, visit New Yorkers are also encouraged to stay informed by signing up for Notify NYC, the City's free emergency communications program, to receive free emergency alerts and updates in your preferred language and format by visiting, calling 311 (212-639-9675 for Video Relay Service, or TTY: 212-504-4115), following @NotifyNYC on Twitter, or getting the free Notify NYC mobile application for your Apple or Android device.


Twitter: @NotifyNYC (emergency notifications) 

@nycemergencymgt (emergency preparedness info) 

Facebook: /NYCemergencymanagement 

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 17, 2024