The New York City Emergency Management Department and the Health Department today advised 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 p.m. Sunday through 8 p.m. Monday. High heat and humidity are in the forecast, with heat index values in the upper 90s to around 100. Cooling centers will open beginning Sunday. Attendees must wear face coverings inside all cooling centers and adhere to social distancing guidelines. To find your nearest cooling center call 311 or visit the City’s Cooling Center Finder. Cool Streets, which are activated during heat emergencies, will be open. DOT’s Open Streets highlights each Cool Street across the city.
“We are in for another round of dangerous humidity, so it is imperative that we take every necessary precaution to beat the heat,” said NYC Emergency Management Commissioner Deanne Criswell. “Air conditioning is the best way to stay cool; the City has opened cooling centers if you don’t have an air conditioner at home. Drink lots of water, and wear loose, light clothing to keep cool.”
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.
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 Sunday, 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
- Eight public pools open across the city
- 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 45,000 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 Sunday.
As an additional measure to stay cool and beat the heat, New Yorkers are invited to take a dip in any one of NYC Parks’ eight free public pools now open to the public, including: Mullaly Pool in the Bronx; Sunset and Kosciuszko Pools in Brooklyn; Wagner Pool in Manhattan; Liberty and Fisher Pools in Queens; and Tottenville and Lyons Pools on Staten Island. Pool goers are reminded that face coverings are now required to enter the facility, and standard pool protocols apply—bring a bathing suit, towel, and lock to secure belongings. Pool hours are 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week. More information can be found at https://www.nycgovparks.org/facilities/outdoor-pools.
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.
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.