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cooling center

HEAT ALERT FOR RESIDENTS–COOLING CENTERS OPEN

AS TEMPERATURES RISE, MOUNT VERNON’S OFFICE OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AND MONTEFIORE HOSPITAL ADVISE MOUNT VERNONITES TO PREPARE FOR EXTREME HEAT

Cooling centers will be opened across the city through Sunday, July 21. Those locations are the Doles Center, 250 South 6th Avenue; The Armory, 114 North 5th Avenue; and Montefiore Hospital, 12 North 7th Avenue 8 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. or longer if needed.

People who do not have or use air conditioning and have certain risk factors are more likely to suffer heat-related illness and death.

If there is an issue finding a particular cooling center, please call 911 including accessible facilities closest to you.

We are urging all residences to take steps to protect themselves and help others who may be at increased risk from the heat. People at risk are those who

  • Do not have access to air conditioning.
  • Have chronic medical, mental health, cognitive or developmental conditions.
  • Take certain medicines that can affect body temperature.
  • Have limited mobility or are unable to leave their homes.
  • Are obese.
  • Misuse alcohol or drugs.

Some residents are at greater risk when it is hot. Older adults are more likely than younger residents to have some combination of the risk factors described above. In addition, as people get older, their ability to maintain a safe body temperature declines—resulting in an increased risk for heat-related illness. African Americans are twice as likely to die from heatstroke compared to whites due in part to social and economic disparities, including access to air conditioning. Certain neighborhoods are also more vulnerable to the health impacts of heat than other neighborhoods.

Hot weather is dangerous and can kill. People with chronic physical and mental health conditions should use air conditioning if they have it, and get to a cool, air-conditioned place if they don’t.

During times like these, we all need to look out for each other. Be a buddy and check on your family, friends, and neighbors who are at risk and help them get to a Cooling Center or another cool place – even if for a few hours.

HEALTH AND SAFETY TIPS FOR PROTECTION AGAINST THE HEAT:

Go to an air-conditioned location, even if for a few hours.

Stay out of the sun and avoid extreme temperature changes.

Avoid strenuous activity, especially during the sun’s peak hours: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. If you must do strenuous activity, do it during the coolest part of the day, which is usually in the morning between 4 a.m. and 7 a.m.

Remember: drink water, rest, and locate shade if you are working outdoors or if your work is strenuous. Drink water every 15 minutes even if you are not thirsty, rest in the shade, and watch out for others on your team. Your employer is required to provide water, rest, and shade when work is being done during extreme heat.

Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing when inside without air conditioning or outside.

Drink fluids, particularly water, even if you do not feel thirsty. Your body needs water to keep cool. Those on fluid-restricted diets or taking diuretics should first speak with their doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider. Avoid beverages containing alcohol or caffeine.

Eat small, frequent meals.

Cool down with a cool bath or shower.

Participate in activities that will keep you cool, such as going to the movies, shopping at a mall, or swimming at a pool or beach. The best thing anyone can do to stay safe in and around the water is to learn to swim. The NYC Parks Department has free swimming lessons for kids and adults. Visit here for more information on pool and water safety.

Make sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens and, in apartments where children live, window guards. Window guards can prevent children from falling out of a window and suffering serious injuries or even death. Screens keep mosquitoes that can spread West Nile Virus out of your home and keep cats from falling out of windows.

Never leave your children or pets in the vehicle, even for a few minutes.

Check on your neighbors during a heat wave, especially if they are seniors, young children, and people with disabilities and access and functional needs.

KEEPING YOUR PETS SAFE:

Never leave pets in the car. Temperatures rise quickly even with the windows down and can be deadly for your pet. Call 911 if you see a pet or child in a hot car.

Be sure your pets have access to plenty of water, especially when it is hot.

Make sure your pet has plenty of shady places to go when outdoors.

Avoid exercising with your pet outside on extremely hot days.

Be sure your pet or service animal has plenty of food and water.

KNOW THE WARNING SIGNS OF HEAT ILLNESS:

  • Hot dry skin.
  • Trouble breathing.
  • Rapid heartbeat.
  • Confusion, disorientation, or dizziness.
  • Nausea and vomiting.

If you or someone you know feels weak or faint, go to a cool place and drink water. If there is no improvement, call a doctor or 911.

FAITH COMMUNITIES & HOT WEATHER HAZARDS

Hot weather can overwhelm the energy output of both your congregation and your house of worship. As a religious leader, you can help your congregation and community prepare for the hazards of a heatwave by providing information on how to cope with the heat, attending to the particular needs of vulnerable persons, and offering your house of worship as a “cooling center.”

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