July 27, 2023
Albany, NY

Governor Hochul Urges Caution as Excessive Heat Warning Now in Effect With Unhealthy Temperature Levels Expected in Many Regions of New York State

Governor Hochul Urges Caution as Excessive Heat Warning Now in Effect With Unhealthy Temperature Levels Expected in Many Regions of New York State

Heat Index Value, or “Feels Like” Temperature, Forecast to be in the 100s for Lower Elevation Areas Through Friday

Excessive Heat Warning Issued for New York City Thursday Morning Through Friday Evening

Long Island and Parts of Many Upstate Regions Under Heat Advisory

State Parks Offering Extended Hours at Swimming Facilities Across the State

Governor Hochul Reminds New Yorkers to Prepare for Extreme Weather Conditions and Know Your Nearest Cooling Center

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Governor Kathy Hochul today urged New Yorkers to take caution as extreme heat conditions remain in the forecast for much of the state Thursday and Friday, with heat index values — or “feels like” temperatures — expected between the mid-90’s and into the 100’s. The National Weather Service issued an Excessive Heat Warning for New York City beginning late Thursday morning that lasts through Friday evening, as heat indices are currently forecast to reach 105 degrees or more during that time period. The Long Island and Mid-Hudson regions will also see heat indices in the triple digits beginning Thursday and, on Friday, many upstate regions will see indices near 100 degrees. Governor Hochul encouraged New Yorkers to prepare for two straight days of high temps and humidity throughout the state.

"New Yorkers should take every precaution they can over these next few days to stay cool and stay safe as the combination of extreme heat and humidity will pose a significant health risk for vulnerable New Yorkers,” Governor Hochul said. "My administration will be closely monitoring the weather impacts and we encourage New Yorkers to stay hydrated, have a plan if you need to cool off and look after our vulnerable neighbors and loved ones during this time."

Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Jackie Bray said, "Apparent temperatures in the triple digits are dangerous for vulnerable populations and those outside for extended periods of time. Take every precaution you can to stay safe these next few days and reconsider outdoor activities if you are sensitive to heat and humidity.

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.

New Yorkers can 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

Agency Preparations

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 with a close eye on the heat index this week. DHSES is communicating with local emergency managers across the state and 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 of this week's extreme heat, in addition to today’s band of thunderstorm activity. New York's utilities have approximately 5,710 workers available as necessary to engage in damage assessment, response, repair, and restoration efforts across New York State for any weather-related impacts this week. This includes the 210 external contract line workers secured by National Grid to augment their Central and Eastern Division workforce for today’s thunderstorm event. Agency staff will 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.

A list of available State Parks swimming facilities is available 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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