July 17, 2019
Video available at: https://youtu.be/o6fJ_5ogO0c
Heat Index expected to reach 109 degrees by Saturday; Cooling Centers open through Sunday
NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio, Emergency Management Commissioner Deanne Criswell, Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot and Department of Social Services Commissioner Steven Banks today updated New Yorkers on the extreme heat expected through the weekend. According to the National Weather Service, temperatures and heat indices will increase at the end of this week, reaching dangerously high levels by the weekend. Friday’s expected heat index is 98 degrees, Saturday’s expected heat index is 109 degrees, and Sunday’s expected heat index is 103 degrees. A Flash Flood Watch is also in effect from 2 PM Wednesday to 4 AM Thursday, due to heavy rain expected on Wednesday.
Due to the heat:
“Extreme heat is dangerous, period,” said Mayor de Blasio. “I urge all New Yorkers to exercise caution this weekend as temperatures near 100. Look out for your neighbors, friends and family and call 311 to find a cooling center. We are deploying all resources at our disposal to ensure New Yorkers remain safe and cool during extreme heat.”
“Extreme heat is an underestimated and deadly hazard. The best way to beat the heat is to use an air-conditioner or to visit one of the City’s Cooling Centers,” NYC Emergency Management Commissioner Deanne Criswell said. “NYC Emergency Management will continue to work closely with the National Weather Service to monitor weather conditions throughout the period of extreme heat.”
“Hot weather is dangerous and can kill. People with chronic physical and mental health conditions should use air conditioning if they have it, and get to a cool, air conditioned place if they don’t,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot. “During times like these, we all need to look out for each other. Be a buddy and check on your family, friends, and neighbors who are at risk and help them get to a Cooling Center or another cool place – even if for a few hours.”
“24/7/365, our outreach teams are engaging New Yorkers in need, offering them services, shelter, and a helping hand,” said NYC Department of Social Services Commissioner Steven Banks. “During extreme weather, we redouble our efforts citywide to assist our most vulnerable neighbors and ensure they can access crucial resources, like cooling centers, cold water, and other essentials, as we continue to encourage each individual to ultimately accept services and move off the streets and subways to safer settings indoors.”
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. New Yorkers most at risk are those with chronic medical, mental health, cognitive or developmental conditions, take certain medicines that can affect body temperature, have limited mobility or are unable to leave their homes, are obese, or misuse alcohol or drugs.
HEALTH AND SAFETY TIPS FOR PROTECTION AGAINST THE HEAT:
KNOW THE WARNING SIGNS OF HEAT ILLNESS:
Call 911 immediately if you or someone you know has:
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.
ENHANCED HOMELESSNESS OUTREACH EFFORTS DURING EXTREME WEATHER:
DSS outreach teams are redoubling their efforts citywide, with a focus on vulnerable unsheltered New Yorkers and shelter is available system-wide to accommodate homeless New Yorkers who are brought to shelter by outreach teams or who walk in seeking respite from heat. During heat emergencies, experienced outreach teams work to connect homeless New Yorkers with the following resources:
FIRE HYDRANT USE:
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. Properly used “spray caps” 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.
In order to conserve energy during the heat wave, New Yorkers should set their air conditioners to 78°F or “low.”
"Extreme heat can be deadly for those with underlying medical conditions and it makes the dangerous work of Firefighters and EMS members even more difficult," said Fire Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro. "I urge New Yorkers to take precautions during this heat wave, use 911 only if it is an emergency, check on your neighbors, and use a sprinkler cap when opening a hydrant to ensure water pressure remains strong when needed for fighting fires."
“The health and safety of NYCHA residents is paramount. We are prepared to respond to any service interruptions that our developments may face during the extreme heat,” said NYCHA General Manager Vito Mustaciuolo. “We continue to ask residents to report any issues by either using the MyNYCHA app or calling the Customer Contact Center at 718-707-7771, so we can respond as soon as possible.”
“Extreme heat can be deadly. In this City, we look out for our neighbors, which is why we encourage all New Yorkers to check on older adults who are at increased risk during heat emergencies,” said New York City Department for the Aging Commissioner Lorraine Cortés-Vázquez. “Senior centers that operate as cooling centers are open to all ages and can save lives when temperatures are extremely high.”
"New York City has the best tasting tap water around and our portable Water-on-the-Go drinking water fountains will be available across the five boroughs this weekend to help keep people cool," said DEP Commissioner Vincent Sapienza. "We encourage New Yorkers to help conserve our critical water supply and not open fire hydrants illegally, as this can lower water pressure and make fire fighting more difficult."
“We want New Yorkers and visitors to stay safe and cool during the high temperatures,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver. “From tree shade and cooling centers to spray showers, pools and beaches, we encourage all to use our city resources to beat the heat in the coming days.”
“All New Yorkers and visitors—including those with disabilities—should take extra precaution in the coming days as the temperature is expected to rise,” said Commissioner Victor Calise of the Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities. “I encourage everyone to stay hydrated, use air conditioning or visit one of the many cooling centers around the city, and check on your neighbors to ensure that all of us stay safe and healthy."