High Temperatures and Increased Humidity Could Pose Danger to At-Risk Populations Including the Elderly and Small Children
YONKERS, NY — August 26, 2018 — Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today urged New Yorkers to take precautions ahead of potentially dangerous heat conditions, especially in the Capital Region, Central New York, Mid-Hudson Valley, and New York City Monday through Wednesday. Heat index values ranging from the mid-90s to around 100 degrees are possible all three days, especially in the Mid-Hudson Valley. This dangerous heat risk to be most widespread and highest on Tuesday. If the current forecast remains on track, the National Weather Service will issue heat advisories.
“With a potential heat wave in the forecast, I urge all New Yorkers to take any necessary precautions and visit one of the many pools, beaches and cooling stations available in our state parks,” Governor Cuomo said. “Be sure to check on neighbors who may be at risk and limit strenuous activity to ensure that you and your family remain safe and healthy during this stretch of extreme heat.”
This period of hot weather will result in an increased risk of heat stress and heat-related illness. People who are susceptible to heat related illnesses including young children, the elderly, those who exercise outdoors, those involved in vigorous outdoor work, and those who have respiratory diseases such as asthma should take necessary steps to stay cool as temperatures rise.
The New York State Department of Health has created an online list of cooling centers where people can cool down on days of extreme temperatures. A list of addresses and phone numbers for cooling centers shared by local health departments and emergency management offices in each region is available here.
To help stay cool, take advantage of the many pools, beaches and spraygrounds the New York State Park system during the hot days ahead. Some popular locations include Jones Beach, Robert Moses and Sunken Meadow on Long Island, Denny Farrell Riverbank (Indoor Pool) and Gantry Plaza Spray Pad in New York City, Bear Mountain, Rockland Lake, Minnewaska, Lake Taghkanic in the Hudson Valley, Grafton Lakes, Saratoga Spa (Victoria Pool), Moreau Lake in the Capital District, Delta Lake in the Mohawk Valley, Green Lakes in the Central Region, Taughannock Falls and Watkins Glen in the Southern Tier, Fair Haven and Hamlin Beach in the Finger Lakes, and Fort Niagara, Evangola and Allegany (Quaker Area) in Western New York.
For a complete list of all available swim locations and places to cool off please visit www.parks.ny.gov and select a state park near you.
Excessive heat is the leading cause of preventable, weather-related deaths each year, particularly among the elderly. According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heat causes more than 600 preventable deaths in the United States yearly. To help New Yorkers stay safe during excessive heat the Governor offered the following tips:
People Who Should Be Aware:
- Elderly persons and small children are mostly affected
- Persons with weight or alcohol problems are very susceptible to heat reactions
- Persons on certain medications or drugs
- Slow down on strenuous activity and exercise, especially during the sun’s peak hours of 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Exercise should be done in the early morning between 4 a.m. and 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
- Do not leave children, pets or those who require special care in a parked car or vehicle 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
- Make an effort to check on your neighbors during a heat wave, especially if they are elderly, have young children or have special needsMake sure there is enough food and water for pets
Know the Signs of Heat Related Illness:
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:
- Light headedness
- Muscle cramps
For more information on how to stay safe during periods of excessive heat, click 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 offers the following safety tips.
Boaters are reminded to practice safe and responsible boating, including:
- Wear a personal floatation 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; and
- Check the weather forecast before heading out on the water to learn about potential storms and seek immediate shelter on shore if thunder is audible.
People paddling canoes, kayaks and stand-up paddleboards should know their abilities and take precautions when there are high or steady winds creating large waves, or when they are in strong currents. Paddlers in waters where there are motorboats should keep close to shorelines and out of main channels.
For more information about boating safety, including listings of boating safety courses, and marine recreation in New York State, click here.
SOURCE: New York State, Executive Chamber