FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 31, 2006
MAYOR BLOOMBERG DECLARES HEAT EMERGENCY IN NEW YORK CITY AS CITY AGENCIES MOBILIZE TO PROTECT NEW YORKERS FROM EXCESSIVE HEAT AND HUMIDITY
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg yesterday signed an Executive Order declaring a Heat Emergency in anticipation of this week's forecasted heat wave. Executive Order 93 directs all City agencies to take whatever steps necessary to protect the well-being of residents. Already, City agencies - coordinated by the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) - have mobilized to help New Yorkers beat the heat. The City's cooling centers have been open since the weekend, while the Parks Department will extend public pool operating hours on days over 95 degrees this week. Temperatures will be in the 90s through Thursday, with the high temperature on Wednesday forecasted to reach 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
"The City will take all the steps it can to combat this week's oppressive heat," said Mayor Bloomberg. "I urge all New Yorkers - especially seniors - to try to beat the heat by drinking plenty of water, staying out of the sun, avoiding strenuous activity, and taking advantage of City cooling centers and public pools. The City will also reduce its energy usage this week, and I urge all New Yorkers to do the same - you can conserve energy by turning off unnecessary appliances and using air conditioning only when you are home."
The Office of Emergency Management is coordinating the City's response to the forecasted heat wave. OEM's Emergency Operations Center (EOC) will be activated at 9:00 a.m. tomorrow to ensure that all City agencies are working to help New Yorkers beat the heat and conserve power. The City's 383 cooling centers will be open with extended hours through Thursday, with exact hours depending on the location. The City's cooling centers served more than 4,000 New Yorkers over the weekend. The Department for the Aging (DFTA) will also monitor the status of its homebound clients throughout the week. The Department of Parks & Recreation extends pool hours on any day over 95 degrees; based on the current forecast, City pools will stay open an hour later on Tuesday and Wednesday - from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. The Parks Department also operates more than 600 spray showers in City Parks throughout the five boroughs for New Yorkers looking to cool off. New Yorkers can call 311 for information on City pool, spray showers, and cooling center locations and hours.
The Fire Department (FDNY) is closely monitoring medical calls related to heat emergencies, and will allocate additional resources as needed. FDNY has also notified the 84 receiving hospitals throughout the city to be prepared for an increase in patients.
The Office of Emergency Management offers the following tips for New Yorkers to protect themselves during the heat wave:
City government is working to conserve energy and is prepared to shed load by taking City facilities off the electrical grid if necessary. The Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS ) will raise the temperature of the air conditioning systems in the 53 buildings it manages today, including City Hall, Tweed Courthouse and the Municipal Building. DCAS is also prepared to reduce the electricity usage of elevator systems by putting 10 percent to 20 percent of building elevators out of service.
New Yorkers can also take steps to reduce their energy usage through the following measures:
New Yorkers who wish to cool off with fire hydrant water must use City-approved fire hydrant spray caps, available free of charge at local firehouses. Illegally opening a fire hydrant is wasteful and dangerous - one illegally opened hydrant wastes up to 1,000 gallons of water per minute, while a hydrant with a spray cap only puts out around 25 gallons per minute.
Executive Order 93, signed by the Mayor yesterday, directs all City agencies to take whatever steps necessary to protect the well-being and safety of city residents in the face of excessive heat. Any person who knowingly violates the order faces a Class B misdemeanor charge. The text of the Executive Order is as follows:
Michael R. Bloomberg
Stu Loeser (212) 788-2958
Jarrod Bernstein (Office of Emergency Management)