As Heat Wave Approaches, de Blasio Tells New Yorkers How to Keep Cool

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Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks at a press conference about the city’s response to the heat wave (Image by Sam Raskin/ Bklyner)

BROOKLYN HEIGHTS—Mayor Bill de Blasio will stay in town this weekend for the upcoming heatwave, and on Wednesday he and other officials detailed how the city is going to respond to the “dangerous weather.”

“I want all New Yorkers to be aware that this is [an] extraordinary situation, and everyone must take precautions. Everyone needs to be aware of the extent of this challenge,” he said at a press conference in Brooklyn Heights. “We’re entering a heat emergency.”

The mayor, who was campaigning in Iowa during last weekend’s brief blackout in pockets of Manhattan, said he would stay in the five boroughs to oversee the city’s handling of the extreme heat.

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The heatwave, he said, will last until around Sunday. Saturday is expected to be the hottest of the days, with the heat index forecasted to reach 109 degrees. On Sunday, the heat index is expected to reach 103.

In response, the city’s 500 cooling centers will be activated. Additionally, the Department of Environmental Protection will position portable drinking fountains in busy areas, pools will be open an extra hour, until 8 p.m. on Friday and Sunday, sprinklers in playgrounds will be open until sundown and beaches will be open until 7 p.m.

De Blasio, along with other city officials, advised New Yorkers to not leave children in pets in cars, to stay hydrated, to go to cooling centers, to avoid caffeinated beverages and to avoid strenuous activity outdoors during the hottest portions of the day. He also said city buildings will have the temperature set to 78 degrees, with the aim of keeping electricity use at a minimum while still keeping people cool, and urged private businesses to do the same.

“Hot weather is dangerous and can kill,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot. “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,” she added, “we all need to look out for each other,”

Department of Social Services Commissioner Steven Banks said that around the clock, the city’s our “outreach teams are engaging New Yorkers in need, offering them services, shelter, and a helping hand.”

“During extreme weather, we redouble our efforts citywide to assist our most vulnerable neighbors and ensure they can access crucial resources, like cooling centers, cold water, and other essentials, as we continue to encourage each individual to ultimately accept services and move off the streets and subways to safer settings indoors,” he said.

Find one of the city’s 500 cooling centers here and call 311 for more information.

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