NYS warns residents, issues suggestions for beating the heat
Heat Advisory in Effect Through Sunday From New York City to the Capital Region; High Heat Index Values at or Over 100 Degrees
Most of New York State Expected To See High Heat and Potentially Severe Storms Over the Weekend
Governor Hochul Encourages New Yorkers To Visit Regional Cooling Centers, Stay Indoors and Check on Vulnerable Neighbors
Governor Kathy Hochul today warned New Yorkers of dangerous heat conditions, which began impacting the State on Tuesday and will last through the weekend. High temperatures and humid conditions are forecast, especially from the Capital Region down the Hudson Valley to New York City. The rest of the State will continue to see warm temperatures over the next several days with chances of isolated severe thunderstorms this weekend. The National Weather Service expects heat index values to exceed 90 degrees across most of the State, with areas from Albany to New York City reaching or exceeding 100 degrees on Sunday.
“New Yorkers are incredibly resilient, but when it comes to extreme heat and humidity in the summertime, there are measures that need to be taken to stay safe including staying indoors, reducing electricity usage and keeping hydrated.” Governor Hochul said. “We need everyone to be on alert this weekend, keeping an eye out for any signs of heat-related illness and looking after one another. Cooling centers are open across New York City, and I encourage everyone who needs help staying cool to take advantage of these resources.”
State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Jackie Bray said, “Unfortunately, the extreme heat is not done with New York yet. We expect the heat to begin to subside on Tuesday, but until then, New Yorkers should take care to stay cool. Limit strenuous activity outdoors, stay hydrated, take care to make sure your pets aren’t outside for extended periods of time and know the signs of heat-related illness.”
New Yorkers should monitor local weather forecasts for the most up-to-date information. For a complete listing of weather watches, warnings, advisories and latest forecasts, visit the National Weather Service website.
The New York State Department of Health also reminds New Yorkers that heat is the number one weather-related killer in the United States. Heat-related deaths and illness are preventable, yet annually many people suffer from the effects of extreme heat. Some individuals are at a higher risk for heat-related illness than others. New Yorkers should learn the risk factors and symptoms of heat-related illness to protect themselves and those they love.
Symptoms of heat stroke include:
- Hot, dry, red skin
- A rapid pulse
- Rapid and shallow breathing
- A body temperature higher than 105 degrees
- Loss of alertness, confusion, and/or loss of consciousness.
You can also find more information about where you can locate a Cooling Center near you and other helpful extreme heat-related advice, by visiting the New York State Department of Health’s emergency weather webpage.
New York State Department of Public Service CEO Rory M. Christian said, “It’s important for the public to continue to look for ways to lower their electricity usage. It is also important for residents to stay cool and stay hydrated. By taking action now, we can lower electricity usage during this heat wave while staying healthy and safe.”
New York State Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett said, “Extreme heat can be dangerous for anyone, but every New Yorker can learn how to protect themselves and their loved ones from heat-related illness by being prepared. Recognizing the signs of illness and responding quickly are vital to avoid serious health repercussions that can be caused by overheating. I urge New Yorkers to follow Governor Hochul’s advice to ready for heat and humidity the next few days: Check the weather in your area, learn the symptoms of heat-related illnesses, and know where to go if you or your family need to cool down at a cooling center.”
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said, “As this heat wave continues across the state and impacting air quality in the New York City and Long Island regions, it’s important to remember important safety tips. By Limiting outdoor activity, especially on individuals with respiratory issues and reducing electricity usage whenever possible, we can keep our families safe and help our environment.”
Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services
The New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services’ Emergency Operations Center continues to monitor weather conditions, including extreme heat and severe weather, communicating with local emergency managers across the state and coordinate any State agency response needs from local governments. The State’s stockpiles are prepared to deploy assets to support missions as needed.
Department of Public Service
The New York State Department of Public Service (DPS) is tracking electric system conditions and overseeing utility response to any situations that may arise as a result of this week’s extreme heat and potential thunderstorm activity. DPS has been in direct contact with utility leaders to ensure they are preparing their systems for the extreme heat and will be tracking system conditions throughout the event. If necessary, DPS will activate the peak load reduction program for all New York State agencies; the New York Independent System Operator will activate their voluntary Emergency Response Demand Program to curtail load as necessary; and New York’s utilities have approximately 5,500 workers available, as necessary, to engage in damage assessment, response, repair, and restoration efforts across New York State, for this heat event. Agency staff will track utilities’ work throughout the event and ensure utilities shift appropriate staffing to regions that experience the greatest impact.
Excessive heat is the leading cause of preventable, weather-related deaths each year, particularly among the elderly. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heat causes more than 600 preventable deaths in the United States every year. To help New Yorkers stay safe during excessive heat, follow the below guidance:
- Taking precautions to avoid heat exhaustion is important, and this includes adjusting your schedule to avoid the outdoors during the hottest hours of the day and modifying your diet and water intake when possible.
- Reduce strenuous activities and exercises, especially from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., which are peak sunlight hours.
- Exercise should be conducted early in the morning, before 7 a.m.
- Eat less protein and more fruits and vegetables. Protein produces and increases metabolic heat, which causes water loss. Eat small meals but eat more often. Do not eat salty foods.
- Drink at least two to four glasses of water per hour during extreme heat, even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid beverages containing alcohol or caffeine.
- If possible, stay out of the sun and stay in air conditioning. The sun heats the inner core of your body, resulting in dehydration. If air conditioning is not available, stay on the lowest floor, out of the sunshine, or go to a public building with air conditioning
- If you must go outdoors, wear sunscreen with a high sun protector factor rating (at least SPF 15) and a hat to protect your face and head.
- When outdoors, wear loose-fitting, lightweight, and light-colored clothing. Cover as much skin as possible to avoid sunburn and over-warming effects of sunlight on your body.
- Never leave children, pets or those who require special care in a parked vehicle, especially during periods of intense summer heat. Temperatures inside a closed vehicle can reach over 140 degrees Fahrenheit quickly. Exposure to such high temperatures can kill within a matter of minutes.
- Try to check on your neighbors during a heat wave, especially if they are elderly, have young children or have disabilities. Make sure there is enough food and water for your pets.
- Prolonged exposure to the heat can be harmful and potentially fatal. Call 911 if you or someone you know shows signs or symptoms of heat illness, including headache, light headedness, muscle cramps, nausea, and vomiting.
Taking smart steps to reduce energy use, particularly during periods of peak demand, not only helps to lower the state’s peak load but also saves consumers money when electricity is the most expensive. To reduce energy use, particularly during peak periods, the public is encouraged to take some of the following low- or no-cost energy saving measures:
- Close drapes, windows, and doors on your home’s sunny side to reduce solar heat buildup.
- Turn off air conditioners, lights, and other appliances when not at home and use a timer to turn on your air conditioner about a half-hour before arriving home. Use advanced power strips to centrally “turn off” all appliances and save energy.
- Fans can make rooms feel 10 degrees cooler and use 80 percent less energy than air conditioners.
- If purchasing an air conditioner, look for an ENERGY STAR qualified model, which uses up to 25 percent less energy than a standard model.
- Set your air conditioner at 78 degrees or higher to save on your cooling costs.
- Place your air conditioner in a central window, rather than a corner window, to allow for better air movement.
- Consider placing the unit on the north, east or the best-shaded side of your home. Your air conditioner will have to work harder and use more energy if it is exposed to direct sunlight.
- Seal spaces around the air conditioner with caulking to prevent cool air from escaping.
- Clean the cooling and condenser fans plus the coils to keep your air conditioner operating efficiently and check the filter every month and replace as needed.
- Use appliances such as washing machines, dryers, dishwashers and ovens early in the morning or late at night. This will also help reduce humidity and heat in the home.
- Use energy-efficient, ENERGY STAR qualified light bulbs instead of standard incandescent light bulbs, and you can use 75 percent less energy.
- Microwave food when possible. Microwaves use approximately 50 percent less energy than conventional ovens.
- Dry clothes on a clothesline. If using a clothes dryer, remember to clean the dryer’s lint trap before every load.
- Be mindful of the different ways you’re consuming water throughout your home. Instead of using 30 to 40 gallons of water to take a bath, install a low-flow showerhead, which uses less than 3 gallons a minute.
- Lowering the temperature setting on your wash machine and rinsing in cold water will reduce energy use.
- Additional tips on how to conserve energy is available on NYSERDA’s website here.
Boaters should make sure to take proper safety precautions when enjoying the many boating opportunities New York State has to offer. The State Parks Marine Services Bureau reminds boaters to practice safe and responsible boating, including:
- Wear a personal flotation device whenever they are on the water. State law requires that children under age 12 wear a personal flotation device while on a watercraft.
- Complete a safe boating course.
- Properly equip and inspect their vessel.
- Maintain a prudent speed.
- Refrain from mixing alcohol with boating.
- Check the weather before heading out on the water to learn about potential storms and seek immediate shelter on shore if thunder is audible.
For more information about boating safety, including listings of boating safety courses, and marine recreation in New York State, click here.
Summer heat can lead to the formation of ground-level ozone, a major component of photochemical smog. DEC and DOH will issue Air Quality Health Advisories when DEC meteorologists predict levels of pollution, either ozone or fine particulate matter, are expected to exceed an Air Quality Index value of 100. Information about the Air Quality forecast for New York State can be found here.