Hot and humid weather is not just uncomfortable, it can cause heat illness and even death. The extra stress on the body from heat can also worsen chronic health conditions such as heart and lung disease. In NYC, most heatstroke deaths happened to people who were in homes without air conditioning. Air conditioning saves lives.
Test your knowledge
about staying safe in the heat.
You can stay safe during hot weather by spending time in your air-conditioned home.
If you do not have air conditioning:
During heat waves, opening windows is not enough to keep cool and you should find a safe air-conditioned space.
Factors that Increase Risk
People are more likely to die from heat if they do not have or use air conditioning and:
Adults age 60 and older are more likely to have some combination of these risk factors. Black New Yorkers are also at a higher risk of dying from heat due in part to racist systems and policies that impact their health and available resources. You can see this impact at the neighborhood level in the NYC Heat Vulnerability Index.
Heat impacts are also more likely to be experienced among:
Heat stroke occurs when the body's temperature rises quickly, which can lead to death. Call 911 or go to an emergency room if you or someone you know has the following symptoms:
If you or someone you know has signs of heat exhaustion, get to a cool place, remove extra clothes and drink lots of water.
Symptoms to look for:
Indoor Heat Safety
Follow these tips to help lower your risk of suffering from heat illness while indoors:
Outdoor Heat Safety
Stay safe outdoors with these tips:
If your work outdoors regularly, you are at higher risk for heat illness. To lower your risk:
Regularly check the heat index at the National Weather Service or other news source. The heat index is a measure of how hot it feels based on temperature and humidity. A heat index above 95°F is especially dangerous.
If there is an air quality advisory while it is also hot visit the Air Quality page for additional guidance.
Check on family, friends and neighbors to make sure they stay safe and cool. Encourage them to use air conditioning. Air conditioning is the best way to keep cool when it is hot outside. Setting air conditioning to 78°F can help them stay safe, comfortable and save money on utility bills. If they cannot stay cool at home, help them get to an air-conditioned place.