NYC COOLING CENTERS AND COOL IT! NYC INITIATIVES AVAILABLE TUESDAY TO HELP NEW YORKERS BEAT THE HEAT
Heat Advisory for New York City extended through 8 p.m. Tuesday, July 28
Cooling Centers will remain open across the city on Tuesday. To find the nearest location, including hours of operation, call 311 or visit the City’s Cooling Center Finder
July 27, 2020 — As the high heat and humidity continue to affect New York City, the New York City Emergency Management Department and the Health Department today announced that cooling centers and Cool It! NYC initiatives will remain available on Tuesday to help New Yorkers beat the heat. With heat index values forecast around 100 degrees, the National Weather Service has extended the heat advisory through 8 p.m. Tuesday, July 28. To find your nearest cooling center call 311 or visit the City’s Cooling Center Finder. Attendees must wear face coverings inside all cooling centers and adhere to social distancing guidelines. Cool Streets, which are activated during heat emergencies, will also remain open. DOT’s Open Streets initiative highlights each Cool Street across the city.
“With the dangerous heat and humidity sticking around, we will extend cooling centers and Cool Streets through Tuesday to ensure New Yorkers have multiple resources available to beat the heat,” said NYC Emergency Management Commissioner Deanne Criswell. “Continue to use your air conditioner, drink lots of water, and don’t forget to check on your neighbors, friends, and family members who are most vulnerable to extreme heat.”
“Heat can be deadly and the Health Department encourages all New Yorkers to stay hydrated, remain in air conditioned spaces and utilize cooling centers as necessary,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot. “Frequently check in on family and neighbors remotely who are at greatest risk of heat-related illness to ensure they’re staying cool and safe.”
In New York City, most heat-related deaths occur after exposure to heat in homes without air conditioners. 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. 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. Individuals should stay out of the sun as much as possible, avoid strenuous activity, especially during the sun’s peak hours of 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and wear lightweight, light-colored clothing. For more heat-related health tips, and to learn the warning signs of heat illness, visit NYC.gov/Health or NYC.gov/beatheheat.
To help New Yorkers beat the heat during heat emergencies, New York City has implemented a number of measures through the Cool It! NYC initiative. These measures will remain available on Tuesday, and include:
• More than 260 new cooling and misting sites in parks in heat-burdened neighborhoods
• More than 200 Cooling Centers open throughout the city
• More than 300 hydrants opened with spray caps installed by FDNY and DEP
• 16 Cool Streets
• Eight public pools open across the city
• 650 spray showers in city parks (available every day of the summer)
A citywide map of cooling elements can be found online at Cool It! NYC. The City has also installed close to 45,000 air conditioners to low-income seniors.
As the City continues its response to COVID-19, social distancing guidelines have been implemented to ensure the safety of any New Yorker who visits a cooling center to seek relief from the heat. Face coverings must be worn at all times inside cooling centers, and attendees must adhere to social distancing guidelines of six feet or more. Cooling centers will also operate at limited capacity. Cooling centers located at senior center locations will be reserved for seniors. To prevent the spread of COVID-19, individuals are reminded to stay at home if they are feeling sick or exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19. Cooling center locations have changed from last year. 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 click here.
As an additional measure to stay cool and beat the heat, New Yorkers are invited to take a dip in any one of NYC Parks’ eight free public pools now open to the public, including: Mullaly Pool in the Bronx; Sunset and Kosciuszko Pools in Brooklyn; Wagner Pool in Manhattan; Liberty and Fisher Pools in Queens; and Tottenville and Lyons Pools on Staten Island. Pool goers are reminded that face coverings are now required to enter the facility, and standard pool protocols apply — bring a bathing suit, towel, and lock to secure belongings. Pool hours are 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week. More information can be found at https://www.nycgovparks.org/facilities/outdoor-pools.
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. Transportation to cooling centers is available via DSS outreach teams who engage with potentially homeless individuals every day of the year and intensify engagement during extreme heat.
Clients at Risk for Heat-Related Illness and Death
People at risk for heat-related illness and death overlap with those at highest risk of severe COVID-19 complications. Specifically, heat vulnerable individuals are those who do not have or use air conditioning AND have one or more of these risk factors:
• Chronic medical conditions such as heart, respiratory and kidney disease.
• Serious mental health, cognitive or developmental conditions, such as schizophrenia or dementia
• Take medicines which can interfere with the body’s ability to stay safe during hot weather
• Have limited mobility or are unable to leave their homes
• Misuse drugs or alcohol
People with these risk factors should consult with their doctors about potential complications due to extreme heat. Older adults are more likely than younger New Yorkers to have some combination of the risk factors described above. As people get older, their ability to maintain a safe body temperature declines – resulting in an increased risk for heat-related illness. Additionally, individuals who are Black are at a heightened risk for heat-related illness due in part to social and economic disparities including access to air conditioning.
HEALTH AND SAFETY TIPS FOR PROTECTING CLIENTS FROM THE HEAT:
• Remind clients that heat events (heat waves) are not just uncomfortable but can be dangerous.
• Encourage clients to use their air conditioners if they have one. They may hesitate to use air conditioners due to cost concerns or discomfort of being too cold. Suggest setting air conditioners to 78 degrees Fahrenheit or “low” cool for a few hours a day to provide comfort, save on electricity costs, and conserve energy.
• Guide clients without air conditioning to consider family, friends or neighbors they can visit even for a couple of hours to get cool during a heat wave. They can also call 311 or go to https://maps.nyc.gov/oem/cc to find a cooling center in New York City during a heat wave.
• Instruct clients not to visit others if they have symptoms of COVID-19 or tested positive for COVID-19 until their isolation period has ended; to confirm no one in the household they will be visiting is sick or isolating for COVID-19, or at high risk for severe COVID-19 illness; and stay at least 6 feet apart from non-household members and wear a face covering New Yorkers should wear a face covering whenever they are with other people in an indoor setting that is not their home, even if 6 feet of distance can be maintained.
• Encourage clients without air conditioning to apply for one through the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP).
• Advise clients to increase fluid intake during hot weather. Recommend self-monitoring of hydration, such as body weight measurement, for clients who have health conditions sensitive to fluid balance or who use medications that can impair thermoregulation or cause dehydration.
• Engage caregivers and other support networks to frequently call or otherwise remotely check on heat-vulnerable people to help them stay cool and well-hydrated before and during hot weather.
GENERAL HEALTH AND SAFETY TIPS :
• Stay out of the sun and avoid extreme temperature changes
• 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.
• 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 you are not thirsty, rest in the shade, and watch out for others on your team. Your employer is required to provide water, rest, and shade when work is being done during extreme heat
• Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing when inside without air conditioning or outside
• Eat small, frequent meals
• Cool down with a cool bath or shower
• Never leave children or pets in the car, even for a few minutes. Temperatures rise quickly even with the windows down and can be deadly for your child or pet. Call 911 if you see a pet or child in a hot car
• Protect your pets and service animals when extreme heat strikes:
o Be sure your pets have access to plenty of water, especially when it is hot
o Make sure your pet has plenty of shady places to go when outdoors
o Avoid exercising with your pet outside on extremely hot days
o Be sure your pet or service animal has plenty of food and water
• Make sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens and, in apartments where children live, window guards. Window guards can prevent children from falling out of a window and suffering serious injuries or even death. Screens keep mosquitoes that can spread West Nile Virus out of your home and keep cats from falling out of windows.
KNOW THE WARNING SIGNS OF HEAT ILLNESS:
Call 911 immediately if you or someone you know has:
• Hot dry skin
• Trouble breathing
• Rapid heartbeat
• Confusion, disorientation, or dizziness
• Nausea and vomiting
New Yorkers are encouraged to sign up for Notify NYC, the City’s free emergency communications program. To sign up for Notify NYC, download the free mobile application, visit NYC.gov/NotifyNYC, call 311, or follow @NotifyNYC on Twitter.