Tips to beat the heat, where to find cooling centers as temperatures rise across New York City area

ByEyewitness News via WABC logo
Monday, July 25, 2022
EMBED <>More Videos

The heatwave drags on in New York City - and how dangerous that heat can be depends on the area in which you live.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- The Tri-State area is in the midst of a sweltering heat wave, with the scorching temperatures expected to last through the weekend.

The last time the Tri-State Area saw at least seven consecutive days of 90s was July 14-20, 2013, so this could be longest heat wave in nine years.

The high heat and humidity bring heat index values in the high 90s and low 100s.

Cooling centers are open across the area, and public beaches and pools continue to be packed.

Check the updated 7-day forecast here.

COOLING CENTERS OPEN

Communities from New Jersey to Long Island and everywhere in between have opened cooling centers to provide relief and protection for their most vulnerable residents.

Cooling centers are air-conditioned facilities, such as libraries, community centers, and senior centers, that are open to the public during heat emergencies. The city says cooling center locations may have changed from last year.

To find your nearest NYC cooling center, call 311 or visit https://maps.nyc.gov/cooling-center/

"This is serious heat," Mayor Eric Adams said. "We are really concerned about those, particularly, with preexisting respiratory conditions."

New York City opens cooling centers when the heat index is forecast to be 95 degrees or above for two or more consecutive days, or if the heat index is forecast to be 100 degrees or above for any amount of time. Cooling centers located at older adult center sites will be reserved for older New Yorkers, ages 60 and older. 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.

NYCHA has also activated its Emergency Operations Center which will be able to provide cooling centers at NYCHA building locations throughout the city.

"Our hardworking and diligent NYCHA staffers have been preparing throughout the summer to ready key auxiliary equipment and review our work order system for relevant red flags to help ensure the safety of NYCHA residents," NYCHA Chair and CEO Greg Russ said.

New Yorkers can now also find cooling centers that welcome pets throughout the five boroughs. The city has also partnered with Petco to offer New Yorkers and their pets additional spaces to seek relief from the heat. All locations can be found on the City's Cooling Center Finder. As a reminder, service animals are always allowed at cooling centers.

For more information from the city on staying safe amid extreme heat and humidity, visit https://on.nyc.gov/3yMueNv

In Westchester County, Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano announced the city has designated several locations across the city as cooling centers.

And on Long Island, towns including Hempstead were using senior centers and other places as cooling centers and extending beach hours - though concern along the shore was running high due to recent shark sightings.

The FDNY also opened fire hydrants across the city to help cool down New Yorkers during the heat wave.

CON EDISON AND OTHER POWER INFO

Con Edison says crews are prepared to respond to any service problems that may occur, and they are urging residents to conserve energy.

But if you're staying in the house close to the air conditioning, Con Ed and PSEG want customers to help them keep things cool.

Crews have been out trying to make sure the grid stands up to the increased demand, and local utilities are asking residents to consider making some changes, like lowering the shades, closing doors to unoccupied rooms, and running appliances early in the morning or late at night.

Intense heat putting stress on city power grid

"We really need the public to be active participants in moving their thermostat to 78 degrees," NYC OEM Commissioner Zachary Iscol said. "That's enough to keep them cool, but not so cool that it's going to really have an impact on the system."

Heat, humidity and increased demand for electricity to power air conditioners can cause cables to overheat and lead to outages. The coming days could also bring thunderstorms, which can affect the overhead delivery system and cause outages.

The company urges members of the public to stay away from any wires that are downed during storms, as they may be live. Do not try to touch or move them with your hands or any object. Call your local police department or 1-800-75-CONED (1-800-752-6633) to report downed wires.

Con Edison may assign workers to guard downed wires and keep people and pets away from them. These workers may be in unmarked vehicles but they carry Con Edison identification.

Con Edison has sent text messages to customers in areas expected to be most impacted, reminding them to be prepared and to report an outage by replying OUT to the text. Customers can sign up for text alerts at coned.com/text.

Customers can also report outages and check service restoration status at conEd.com/reportoutage, with Con Edison's mobile app for iOS or Android devices, or by calling 1-800-75-CONED (1-800-752-6633).

The company also sends e-mails to customers to communicate energy-saving tips and information on reporting outages.

Customers who report outages will receive updates from Con Edison with their estimated restoration times as they become available. Information on outages and restoration times is also available at the Con Edison outage map. Watch an outage map tutorial video here.

HEALTH AND SAFETY TIPS FOR PROTECTION AGAINST THE HEAT

- Go to an air-conditioned location, even if for a few hours.

- Stay out of the sun and avoid extreme temperature changes.

- Avoid strenuous activity, especially during the sun's peak hours: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. If you must do strenuous activity, do it during the coolest part of the day, which is usually in the morning between 4 a.m. and 7 a.m.

- Remember: drink water, rest, and locate shade if you are working outdoors or if your work is strenuous. Drink water every 15 minutes even if you are not thirsty, rest in the shade, and watch out for others on your team. Your employer is required to provide water, rest, and shade when work is being done during extreme heat.

- Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing when inside without air conditioning or outside.

- Drink fluids, particularly water, even if you do not feel thirsty. Your body needs water to keep cool. Those on fluid-restricted diets or taking diuretics should first speak with their doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider. Avoid beverages containing alcohol or caffeine.

- Eat small, frequent meals.

- Cool down with a cool bath or shower.

- Participate in activities that will keep you cool, such as going to the movies, walking in an air-conditioned mall, or swimming at a pool or beach.

- Make sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens and, in apartments where children live, and window guards. Air conditioners in buildings more than six stories must be installed with brackets so they are secured and do not fall on someone below. Window guards can prevent children from falling out of a window and suffering serious injuries or even death. Screens keep mosquitoes that can spread West Nile Virus out of your home and keep cats from falling out of windows.

-Never leave your children or pets in the vehicle, even for a few minutes.

KNOW THE WARNING SIGNS OF HEAT ILLNESS

Call 911 immediately if you or someone you know has:

- Hot dry skin.

- Trouble breathing.

- Rapid heartbeat.

- Confusion, disorientation, or dizziness.

- Nausea and vomiting.

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.

KEEPING YOUR PETS SAFE

- Avoid dehydration: Pets can dehydrate quickly, so give them plenty of fresh, clean water.

- Walk your dog in the morning and evening: When the temperature is very high, do not let your dog linger on hot asphalt. Your pet's body can heat up quickly, and sensitive paw pads can burn.

- Know when your pet is in danger: Symptoms of overheating in pets include excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, mild weakness, unresponsiveness, or even collapse.

IMPROPER 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.

Use "spray caps" to 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.

ENERGY-SAVING TIPS

During periods of intense electrical usage, such as on hot, humid days, it is important to conserve energy as much as possible to avoid brownouts and other electrical disruptions.

While diminishing your power usage may seem inconvenient, your cooperation will help to ensure that utility providers are able to provide uninterrupted electrical service to you and your neighbors, particularly those who use electric powered medical equipment or are at risk of heat-related illness and death:

- Set your air conditioner to 78F or "low."

- Run appliances such as ovens, washing machines, dryers and dishwashers in the early morning or late at night when it is cooler outside to reduce heat and moisture in your home.

- Close doors to keep cool air in and hot air out when the air conditioner is running.

- Keep shades, blinds, and curtains closed. About 40 percent of unwanted heat comes through windows.

- Turn off air conditioners, lights, and other appliances when not at home, and use a timer or smart technology to turn on your air conditioner about a half-hour before arriving home. Keep air conditioner filters clean.

- If you run a business, keep your door closed while the air conditioner is running.

- Tell your utility provider if you or someone you know depend on medical equipment that requires electricity.

WATCH | Con Ed explains how they battle heat amid call for energy conservation:

MORE BEATING THE HEAT RESOURCES

  • 7 ways to stay cool in the heat wave
  • Tips to stay safe during the hot summer months
  • Heat stroke vs heat exhaustion: What's the difference and what are the symptoms?
  • Lotion in the refrigerator and more hacks to keep cool without AC
  • Tips for staying safe during a heat wave as the temperature rises
  • What is a heat wave? How heat waves form and temperatures climb
  • Why it's harder to cool off in humidity
  • How hot summer weather affects your car
  • What does 'dog days of summer' really mean?
  • We baked cookies inside a parked car just to prove how hot the inside of a car really is
  • Heat hypothesis: The link between summer weather and aggressive behavior
  • ----------

    * Get the AccuWeather App

    * More AccuWeather

    * Follow us on YouTube

    * More local news

    * Sign up for free newsletters

    * Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts Submit a News Tip