In New York City, as the summer continues to unfold, the concern of the extreme heat is on the rise. The New York City Emergency Management Department advises New York residents to responsibly take precaution when being outdoors, and is even providing cooling centers for New Yorkers to rest all throughout the city. High heat is expected in the forecast for these upcoming weeks ranging from temperatures in the high 80s to mid and upper 90s, accompanied by high humidity.
The New York City Emergency Management Department works to combat this issue in various different ways, by first and foremost educating residents on important protocols to take in the event of extreme heat. Some of these safety tips include: staying hydrated, avoid being outside for prolonged periods if possible, never leave your pet in a vehicle, indulge in activities that keep you cool, wear lightweight clothing, and avoid arduous outside activities specifically in peak hours (11 a.m. – 4 p.m.).
The Department of Social Services issues a Code Red in the event of extreme heat, thus providing cooling centers to anyone without shelter. This past Tuesday, these centers began to open all throughout the 5 boroughs of New York City. Access to these cooling centers is a vital step in ensuring the safety of all citizens of New York City.
The city activated its heat plan a couple weeks ago, making Cooling Centers one of its main priorities. First Deputy Commissioner Christina Farrell explains in more depth how to access these centers properly. “There are about 550 Cooling Centers open around the city, you can go to www.nyc.gov/beattheheat or call 311, and if people type in their address that will give them a variety of cooling centers that are open near them, as well as its hours, in the case that they are not able to remain cool enough in their own house or other circumstances,” said Farrell
Along with taking safety precautions to beat the heat, it’s recommended that the citizens of NYC are cautious of how they are using energy. Conserving energy to ensure that there’s no power outages during times of high heat are essential. The Health Department recommends residents to not run large appliances like washers, dryers, or dishwashers all at once during the peak hours of heat. But rather to run them later, in order to alleviate the electrical stress. “As we go through this week, there’s a large strain on the electrical grid, so just making sure that all of us are able to keep our power is incredibly vital.”
The need to protect our residents from the heat also raises the concern of helping our pets. Last year, New York City’s Health Department forged a partnership with PETCO, now having 16 locations across the city that have registered as cooling centers where pets are welcomed as well. “People really appreciate this initiative and are taking full advantage of it, which is terrific, so we will be working with other organizations to hopefully expand that number further,” said Deputy Farell.
In these vital times, it’s important to extend a helping hand within the community. The New York City Emergency Management Department continues to urge the residents of New York to stay indoors and cool in these upcoming waves of heat