With heat indexes expected to soar well above 100 degrees this weekend, city officials are scrambling to keep the Big Apple from turning into a baked apple.
Mayor Bill de Blasio and health officials held a press conference Wednesday announcing the opening of cooling centers, an extension of pool hours and a host of hot tips on how to stay cool.
Around 500 air-conditioned public cooling centers citywide will be open 8 a.m.–5 p.m., and New Yorkers can find nearby stations by going to maps.nyc.gov/oem/cc/.
Additionally, the Department of Environmental Protection plans to position portable drinking fountains in busy pedestrian areas across the city, officials announced.
City pools will also stay open an extra hour Friday–Sunday, so swimmers can beat the heat from 11 a.m.–8 p.m.
They also gave out a series of tips on how to not get over heated:
- New Yorkers hoping to douse themselves in the comfort of their own homes, however, should avoid ice-cold showers, which can be a shock to the system, and instead settle for lukewarm water, according to Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot.
- If taking to the streets is your style, get a hydrant cap from your local fire department before opening a hydrant — letting the flow go full force without a cap can cause water pressure to plummet and stymie fire fighters if a blaze breaks out nearby.
- Officials recommend drinking plenty of water, and if you’re going to down something other than H2O, avoid caffeine and alcohol, as both only serve to dehydrate, Barbot said.
- Try to get at least a few hours of air-conditioning during the hottest parts of the day, and wear light-colored, lightweight clothes, even when inside, if you don’t have an A/C, officials said.
- Keeping doors and windows shut tight and blinds or curtains drawn can help keep the heat at bay when you’re inside — as can waiting until after sundown to do things like running the washing machine or using your oven, according to authorities.
- City officials are urging people to call 911 if they feel feint or weak and the condition does not improve with water and shade.