The New York City Emergency Management Department and the Health Department advise New Yorkers to take precautions to beat the heat.
The National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory in effect for New York City from 12:00 p.m. through 08:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 23, 2020. High heat and humidity are in the forecast, with heat index values in the mid-90s on Thursday. Cooling centers will open beginning 08:00 a.m. on Thursday. Cool Streets, which are activated during heat emergencies, will open on Thursday. To find your nearest cooling center call 311 or visit the City’s Cooling Center Finder. DOT’s Open Streets highlights each Cool Street across the city.
“The dangerous heat and humidity are sticking around, and we want New Yorkers to continue to stay cool and hydrated,” said NYC Emergency Management Commissioner Deanne Criswell. “Use air conditioning or visit a cooling center, drink lots of water, and remember to check on friends, family members and neighbors, the elderly, or people with disabilities who may need assistance during a heat emergency.”
“This heat can be uncomfortable and dangerous,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot. “Everyone should try to be near air conditioning for at least a few hours a day, drink lots of water and wear light, cool clothing. It is also a good idea to avoid strenuous outdoor activities during the hottest parts of the day. Finally, check in on friends and neighbors—especially those at risk for heat-related illness.”
To help New Yorkers beat the heat during heat emergencies, New York City has implemented a number of measures through the Cool It! NYC and Cool Streets initiatives. These initiatives will be available on Thursday, July 23, and include:
- more than 250 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;
- 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 43,000 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. Cooling centers are open beginning 8 a.m. on Thursday, July 23.
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.
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. For more information, including heat-related health tips and warning signs of heat illness, visit NYC.gov/Health or NYC.gov/beatheheat.
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.