July 28, 2023
Albany, NY

Governor Hochul Reminds New Yorkers to Take Steps to Prevent Heat-Related Illness and Dehydration as Unhealthy Temperatures Continue to Impact New York State

Governor Hochul Reminds New Yorkers to Take Steps to Prevent Heat-Related Illness and Dehydration as Unhealthy Temperatures Continue to Impact New York State

Second Day in a Row of Extreme Heat and Humidity, with “Feels Like” Temperature Nearing 100 Across the State

Excessive Heat Warning No Longer in Effect, As Majority of Counties in New York Currently Under a Heat Advisory

State Agencies Tracking Severe Weather Impacts on Saturday for Hudson Valley, New York City and Long Island Regions, As Thunderstorms Could Cause Heavy Downpours and Power Outages

Governor Hochul Encourages New Yorkers to Visit their Local Cooling Center to Beat the Heat

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Governor Kathy Hochul today reminded New Yorkers that extreme heat and humidity continue to impact most of the state, and to take extra steps today and tomorrow to stay cool as heat index values — or “feels like” temperatures — are expected between 90 to 100 for the entire state. The National Weather Service issued a Heat Advisory for most counties in the state, in effect through Friday evening for most of upstate, and in effect through Saturday evening for New York City and Long Island. Governor Hochul urged New Yorkers to take caution today and tomorrow as continued extreme heat pose serious health risks.

“We are approaching our second day of extreme heat across the state, and we are keeping a close eye on the New York City and Long Island area as dangerous conditions will continue through tomorrow,” Governor Hochul said. "Every New Yorker should take steps today to stay cool, stay hydrated and stay out of the sun for extended periods.”

Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Jackie Bray said, “It is going to be dangerously hot and humid today and into tomorrow in New York State, especially downstate. Please take extra steps today and tomorrow to ensure you, your loved ones and your pets are protected. Visit your local cooling center if you need a safe place out of the heat.”

State agencies are also tracking potentially severe weather in the forecast for downstate regions on Saturday as thunderstorms could cause heavy downpours and outages. New Yorkers are encouraged to monitor their local weather forecast 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 Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) advises that summer heat can lead to the formation of ground-level ozone. DEC and DOH issue Air Quality Health Advisories when DEC meteorologists predict levels of pollution, including ozone and fine particulate matter, are expected to exceed an Air Quality Index value of 100, when concentrations in outdoor air are expected to be unhealthy for sensitive groups. An advisory is in effect for ozone for the Long Island and New York City Metro regions for today, July 28, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. More information about New York State Air Quality forecast is available here. To check current local air quality, go to airnow.gov.

New Yorkers can also visit the Department of Health’s website for an updated list of Cooling Centers, which are submitted by local health departments and local emergency management offices.

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 illnesses 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

For more extreme heat advice from the Department of Health, visit their website here.

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said, "The continued extreme heat impacting New York State this week is another reminder of the impacts of our changing climate on communities. DEC continues to coordinate with our State, city, and local partners to ensure New Yorkers have the information they need to prepare for extreme heat, and I encourage all New Yorkers to monitor local weather conditions and seek spaces to keep cool and stay safe.”

New York State Department of Health Commissioner Dr. James McDonald said, “During these extreme temperatures, it’s vital to stay hydrated, and seek out air-conditioned spaces. It’s especially important for older adults and anyone who experiences chronic conditions to take basic precautions to keep cool and protect themselves against experiencing health issues, like heat exhaustion or heat stroke, that are related to dangerous temperatures.”

Additional Agency Actions

Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services
The New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services' Emergency Operations Center is monitoring the weather forecast and communicating with local emergency managers across the state. The Division will coordinate any potential State agency response to aid local governments. The State's stockpiles are equipped to deploy resources, as needed, throughout impacted parts of the state.

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 ofthis week's extreme heat. 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 any weather-related impacts this weekend. Agency staff will continue to track utilities' work throughout the event and ensure utilities shift appropriate staffing to regions that experience the greatest impact.

Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation
New York State Parks has facilities across the state where the public can go to cool off with swimming at pools and waterbodies or cooling off at spray grounds. A list of available State Parks swimming facilities is available here.

Heat Safety Tips

To help New Yorkers stay safe during excessive heat, follow the below guidance and visit the DHSES Heat Safety Tips webpage.

Be Prepared
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. To help New Yorkers stay safe during excessive heat, follow the below guidance and visit the DHSES Heat Safety Tips webpage.

  • Reduce strenuous activities and exercises, especially during 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 individual needs. 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.

Conserve Electricity
NYSERDA recommends 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% less energy.
  • Microwave food when possible. Microwaves use approximately 50% 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 are available on NYSERDA's website here.

Water Safety

  • Adult Supervision. This is the number one way to prevent drowning. Never leave a child unattended in or near water, and always designate a Water Watcher. This person should not be reading, texting, using a smartphone, drinking alcoholic beverages, or otherwise distracted.
  • Choose bright colors. Studies show the color of one's bathing suit can make a difference in visibility. Consider the color of your child's swimsuit before heading to a pool, beach or lake. For light-bottomed pools, neon pink and neon orange tend to be the most visible. For lakes and dark-bottomed pools, neon orange, neon green and neon yellow tend to be the most visible.
  • Identify swimmers in need of help. While we tend to think that swimmers in trouble will be waving their hands and making lots of noise, this may not always be the case. Watch out for people whose heads are low in the water (mouth submerged) or tilted back with mouth open, eyes closed or unable to focus, legs vertical in the water, or who are trying to swim but not making progress.
  • Swimming Lessons. Multiple studies show swimming lessons prevent drowning. Learn how to swim and teach your child how to swim.

Open Water Safety

  • Wear Life Jackets. Put life jackets on kids anytime they are on a boat or participating in other open water recreational activities. Personal flotation devices should always be used for children that do not know how to swim. New York state law requires that children under 12 wear a Coast Guard-approved life vest on a boat or water vessel. For more information on proper life jackets, go to the United States Coast Guard site.
  • Choose a spot on the beach close to a lifeguard and swim only when a lifeguard is on duty.
  • Watch for warning flags and know what they mean. Green flags usually mark designated swimming areas - be sure to swim between the green flags. Yellow flags may denote a surfing beach or an advisory. Red flags indicate a danger or hazard, and no one should swim when they are shown. Flag designations may vary so be sure to understand the color coding before you dive in.
  • Watch out for rip currents. Rip currents are powerful currents moving away from shore. They tend to form near a shallow point in the water, such as a sandbar, or close to jetties and piers and can happen at any beach with breaking waves, including the Great Lakes! They are the number one hazard for beachgoers and can pull even the strongest swimmers out to sea. If you are caught in a rip current, try to remain calm and don't fight it. Swim parallel to the shore until you are out of the current, and float or tread water if you begin to tire. More from the National Weather Service: Break the Grip of the Rip!
  • Beware of large waves and strong surf. Ocean swimming is different from swimming in a calm pool or lake. Large waves can easily knock over an adult. Be prepared for strong surf as well as sudden drop-offs near the shore.

Pool Safety Tips

  • Put Up Barriers. Install appropriate safety barriers around in-home pools and spas. This includes fences, gates, door alarms and covers.
  • Pool Alarms. Install a pool alarm to detect and provide notification of unattended pool access.
  • Small Pools. Drain and put away smaller portable pools when not in use.
  • Cover Drains. Keep children away from pool drains, pipes, and other openings to avoid them getting stuck. Children's hair, limbs, jewelry or bathing suits can get stuck in a drain or suction opening. Also, ensure any pool and spa you use has drain covers that comply with federal safety standards, which include drain shape, drain cover size, and rate of water flow. Learn more here.

Contact the Governor’s Press Office

Contact us by phone:

Albany: (518) 474-8418
New York City: (212) 681-4640

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