High Temperatures and Increased Humidity Return Monday through Wednesday and Could Pose Danger to At-Risk Populations Including the Elderly and Small Children
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today urged New Yorkers to take precautions ahead of potentially dangerous heat conditions, especially in the portions of Western New York, the Finger Lakes, Central New York, the Southern Tier, the Mohawk Valley, the Capital Region, and the Mid-Hudson Valley beginning Labor Day through Wednesday. Heat index values may reach the mid-90s to around 100 during this time. Heat Advisories have been issued through tonight for many areas of the state.
“Labor Day usually marks the official end of summer, but the dangerously hot days continue,” Governor Cuomo said. “If you are enjoying time outdoors this holiday, remember to take precautions, stay cool and hydrated, and be aware the symptoms of heat related illnesses.”
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 New Yorkers stay cool during the heat wave, the following state parks beaches and spray pads will remain open beyond Labor Day through Wednesday:
- Jones Beach Field 6, West Bathhouse, Central Mall and Spray Pad, Robert Moses Field 2 and Field 5, Sunken Meadow and Hither Hills state parks on Long Island.
- Gantry Plaza Spray Pad and Riverbank Water Play Area in New York City.
- Grafton Lakes State Park in the Capital Region.
- Verona Beach Spray Pad in the Mohawk Valley.
- Cayuga Lake and Long Point state parks in Central New York.
- Seneca Lake Spray Pad in the Finger Lakes.
- Chenango Valley Spray Pad, Robert Treman, Stony Brook, Taughannock Falls and Watkins Glen state parks in the Southern Tier.
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 most 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 needs
- Make 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 headache, light headedness, muscle cramps, nausea or vomiting. 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.