New York City is offering a way to cool off in the midst of a heat wave. The city health department and emergency management office will open cooling centers as temperatures climb to the mid-90s.
The city will open public buildings that have air conditioning to visitors from Monday to Thursday. The National Weather Service said the temperature is expected to be 95 degrees or above on those days.
The weather service said the temperature reached 96 Sunday. The record high for July 4 was 102 degrees in 1949.
New Yorkers looking to escape the heat can call 311, or can simply click here, to find a cooling center.
And here are more tips on staying cool, from the Office of Emergency Management:
- If possible, stay out of the sun. When in the sun, wear sunscreen (at least SPF 15) and a hat to protect your face and head.
- Use an air conditioner if you have one. Set the thermostat no lower than 78 degrees.
- If you do not have an air conditioner, keep rooms well-ventilated with open windows and fans. Consider going to a public pool, air-conditioned store, mall, movie theater, or cooling center.
- Fans work best at night, when they can bring in cooler air from outside.
- Make a special effort to check on your neighbors during a heat wave, especially if they are seniors, young children, and people with special needs. Many older New Yorkers live alone and could suffer unnecessarily in the heat because they are isolated from friends and family.
- Seniors and others who may be sensitive to extreme heat should contact friends, neighbors, or relatives at least twice a day during a heat wave.
- Drink fluids – particularly water – even if you do not feel thirsty.* Avoid beverages containing alcohol, caffeine, or high amounts of sugar.
- Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose clothing that covers as much of your skin as possible.
- Never leave children, pets, or those who require special care in a parked car during periods of intense summer heat.
- Avoid strenuous activity, especially during the sun’s peak hours – 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. If you must engage in strenuous activity, do it during the coolest part of the day, usually in the morning between 4 a.m. and 7 a.m.
- Cool showers or baths may be helpful, but avoid extreme temperature changes. Never take a shower immediately after becoming overheated – extreme temperature changes may make you ill, nauseated, or dizzy.
- During heat emergencies, the City may open cooling centers. If cooling centers are open, call 311 (TTY: 212-504-4115) or locate a center online.
Published at 1:15 AM EDT on Jul 5, 2010 | Updated at 6:42 PM EDT on Jul 5, 2010