FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 23, 2010
MAYOR BLOOMBERG REMINDS NEW YORKERS TO TAKE PRECAUTIONS DURING EXTREME HEAT
Two Hundred Cooling Centers to Open in All Five Boroughs on Saturday
Mayor Urges All New Yorkers to Check in on their Neighbors
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg joined Office of Emergency Management Commissioner Joseph F. Bruno and Health Department Commissioner Thomas A. Farley at the City Hall Senior Center to encourage New Yorkers to take precautions during the extreme heat forecasted for this weekend. According to the National Weather Service, the heat index is forecast to reach the mid-90's on Saturday. To help New Yorkers beat the heat, cooling centers will be open throughout the City. More than 190,000 New Yorkers have visited cooling centers since the summer's first heat wave on June 28th.
"Staying cool when it's this hot outside is important for every New Yorker's health, particularly for our seniors," said Mayor Bloomberg. "I urge everyone to take common sense precautions - stay out of the sun, avoid strenuous outdoor activity, drink plenty of water, wear light-colored clothing, and only swim when a lifeguard is on duty. I also ask that we be good neighbors and check in on people who are elderly, disabled or have other conditions that may make the heat particularly uncomfortable. And call 311 if you need to help someone find a place to cool off in your community."
"July has been one of the hottest months in recent memory, and so far this summer we have been fortunate to avoid any major heat-related emergencies," said Commissioner Bruno. "But the longer we have extremely hot days like this, the more dangerous it is for people at risk, and we are asking every New Yorker to take three common sense steps to stay safe during this latest heat event: look out for your own health, check in on vulnerable neighbors, and listen to your utility company's appeals for energy conservation."
"Prolonged heat is more than a discomfort," said Commissioner Farley. "For anyone who is elderly or living with a chronic health condition, a series of hot days can lead to heat exhaustion, heat stroke - even death. The people at greatest risk often live alone and have difficulty traveling. Fortunately, these are preventable risks. Staying in an air-conditioned place is the best protection from the heat, so check on your elderly relatives, friends, and neighbors - particularly those who live alone - and see if you can help them get to cooler places on these extremely hot days. New York City is full of air-conditioned spaces. By helping a vulnerable person find one, you may save a life."
"Air conditioning offers seniors the best protection from the heat, and we're encouraging older New Yorkers to be safe by going to one of the City's cooling centers," said Department for the Aging Commissioner Lilliam Barrios-Paoli. "During the heat it is important for seniors to drink plenty of fluids, avoid exertion and keep their apartments well ventilated to avoid heat exhaustion. Seniors who feel ill or think they have signs of heat exhaustion should call 911 immediately. New Yorkers should check in on their elderly neighbors-simply knock on their door or give them a call. Seniors living alone may need help with opening windows, shopping or other minor tasks to ensure their safety."
Heat illness is serious. Prolonged exposure to the heat can be harmful and potentially fatal. The added stress caused by heat can also aggravate heart or lung disease even without symptoms of heat illness. Call your doctor or go to the emergency room right away if you have these symptoms:
The risk of getting sick during a heat wave is increased for people who:
If you have a medical condition or take medications, check with your physician about precautions during hot weather. Family, friends, and neighbors who are at high risk will need extra help during this period of extreme heat. Think about how you can help someone you know get to an air-conditioned place.
Ready New York - Beat the Heat Tips:
Spray Caps & Fire Hydrants:
To find the cooling center closest to you, call 311 (TTY: 212-504-4115) or use OEM's Cooling Center Finder at www.nyc.gov/oem. For more information on coping with extreme heat, see the Ready New York: Beat the Heat guide at www.nyc.gov/oem. For more information on the health effects associated with extreme heat visit www.nyc.gov/health.
Stu Loeser/Jason Post/Jessica Scaperotti (Mayor) (212) 788-2958
Chris Gilbride (Emergency Management)
Erin Brady (Health)
Chris Miller (Aging)