Plan for Hazards - Extreme Heat (2023)

Extreme heat is one of the most significant hazards facing New York City, and New Yorkers are especially vulnerable to extreme heat-related hazards during the summer months. Generally, extreme heat is defined by temperatures that hover 10 degrees or more above the average high temperature for the region, last for prolonged periods of time, and are accompanied by high humidity.

On warm summer days, the city can be as much as 10 degrees warmer than its surrounding areas. The city's infrastructure — largely made up of asphalt, concrete and metal — traps the heat. This is known as the "urban heat island" effect.

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(Video) UK heatwave: ‘Exceptional’ wildfire risk during four-day extreme heat warning

Know the Terms

  • Heat Index: an estimate of how it feels when air temperature and humidity are combined. See the National Weather Service Heat Index Chart for more information.
  • Heat Wave: the National Weather Service defines a heat wave as at least three consecutive days with high temperatures of at least 90°F.
  • Heat Advisory: in New York City, a Heat Advisory is issued when the heat index is forecast to reach 95°F to 99°F for at least two consecutive days or 100°F to 104°F for any length of time.
  • Excessive Heat Watch: issued by the National Weather Service when the heat index values are forecast to reach or exceed 105°F within the next 24-48 hours.
  • Excessive Heat Warning: issued by the National Weather Service when the heat index is forecast to reach or exceed 105°F for at least two consecutive hours within the next 24 hours.
  • Air Quality Index: reports how clear or polluted the air is. It is issued by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and relayed by the National Weather Service.

What to Do Before Extreme Heat

  • Protect your home from extreme heat.
    • Install high-performance windows and sunshades.
    • Check the condition of your air conditioning and ventilation systems.
    • Insulate your home.
  • Plan ahead to ensure your home and workplace are prepared for a potential loss of power. Have emergency supplies on hand in case of an outage. If you lose power, notify your utility provider immediately.

Know the Signs of Heat-Related Illnesses

Heat illness is serious. 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, and vomiting. Learn more about heat-related illnesses and tips from the NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene.

(Video) SFIC Briefing: Preparing for Seasonal Hazards of Extreme Heat & Wildfire Smoke (6-17-2021)

Become a Cooling Center Partner – Share Your Space

Registering community spaces is just one way you can help support communities during periods of extreme heat. Visit the Share Your Space Survey webpage

What to Do During Extreme Heat

Stay Informed and Connected

  • Listen to local weather forecasts and announcements from officials. NYC Emergency Management will send emergency alerts and updates to New Yorkers through various channels.
    • Sign up for Notify NYC, the City of New York's official, free emergency communications program. Register for emergency notifications by getting the free Notify NYC mobile application, visiting, contacting 311 (212-639-9675 for Video Relay Service, or TTY: 212-504-4115) or following @NotifyNYC on Twitter. (Notify NYC messages are available through many formats, including email, text messages, telephone, the Notify NYC website, RSS, Twitter, and American Sign Language videos.)

Help Your Neighbors

  • Check on your neighbors virtually or over the phone during a heat wave, especially if they are older adults, young children, and people with disabilities and access and functional needs. Keep in touch by phone at least twice a day during heat waves. Avoid in-person visits to protect your health and the health of others.
    • Seniors (older adults) and others who may be sensitive to extreme heat should contact friends, neighbors, or relatives at least twice a day during a heat wave.
    • Many older New Yorkers live alone and could suffer unnecessarily in the heat because they are isolated from friends and family.
  • In New York City, most heat-related deaths occur after exposure to heat in homes without air conditioners. Air conditioning is the best way to stay safe and healthy when it is hot outside, but some vulnerable people do not have an air conditioner or do not turn it on when they need it. Encourage them to use air conditioning. Help them get to an air-conditioned place if they cannot stay cool at home. Make sure they are drinking enough water.
  • Protect your pets and service animals when extreme heat strikes:
    • 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's 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.

Protect Your Health – Stay Cool

  • Use an air conditioner during hot weather and heat emergencies, even if it is only for a few hours. A setting of 78 degrees F (or low cool) can provide a comfortable environment, help save on electricity bills, and conserve energy.
  • If you do not have an air conditioner, you may qualify for energy assistance. Visit the Human Resource Administration online for information about the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP).
  • During heat emergencies, the City will open cooling centers throughout the five boroughs. Visit the Cooling Center Finder or contact 311 (212-639-9675 for Video Relay Service, or TTY: 212-504-4115) to find out whether a cooling center is open near you.
    • Note: Cooling centers are facilities managed by agency partners who determine each site's hours of operation, level(s) of accessibility and other logistical details. New Yorkers are encouraged to call ahead to determine whether their pets are fallowed at the facilities. Service animals are always allowed. For additional information, please contact these facilities directly.
  • If possible, stay out of the sun. When in the sun, wear sunscreen (at least SPF 15) and a hat to protect your face and head.
  • Use an air conditioner if you have one.
  • If you do not have an air conditioner, keep rooms well-ventilated with open windows and fans.
  • Fans work best at night, when they can bring in cooler air from outside.
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose clothing that covers as much of your skin as possible.
  • Drink fluids — particularly water — even if you do not feel thirsty.* (*People with heart, kidney or liver disease, or on fluid restricted diets should check with their doctors before increasing fluid intake.)
  • Never leave children, pets, or those who require special care in a parked car during periods of intense summer heat.
  • Avoid strenuous activity, especially during the sun's peak hours – 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. If you must engage in strenuous activity, do it during the coolest part of the day, usually in the morning between 4 a.m. and 7 a.m.
  • Cool showers or baths may be helpful, but avoid extreme temperature changes. Never take a shower immediately after becoming overheated – extreme temperature changes may make you ill, nauseated, or dizzy.
  • If you have asthma or other respiratory problems, stay in an area where it is cool and the air is filtered or air-conditioned.

For more information, visit

COVID-19: Air Conditioning and Open Windows

The virus that causes COVID-19 will not enter your home through an air conditioner or an open window.

(Video) Urban heat resilience: Governing an invisible hazard with Sara Meerow

The virus is usually spread to people who are in close contact (within about 6 feet) with a person who has COVID-19. It is spread through droplets that are sprayed when a person coughs or sneezes, and possibly when they sing or talk.

If someone with COVID-19 is in your home, opening the windows can increase air circulation. That may help stop the spread of COVID-19 by reducing the amount of virus in the air, but during heat waves, opening windows is not enough to keep cool. For more information, visit

Conserve Water

The improper opening of fire hydrants wastes 1,000 gallons of water per minute, causes flooding on city streets, and can lower water pressure to dangerous levels and hamper the ability of FDNY to fight fire safely and quickly.

Properly used "spray caps" reduce hydrant output to a safe 25 gallons per minute while still providing relief from the heat. To obtain a spray cap, an adult 18 years or older with proper identification can go to their local firehouse and request one. Learn more from FDNY.

Conserve Power

Power outages are most likely to happen during the hot summer months when utility usage is at its peak. During periods of intense electrical usage, such as on hot, humid days, it is important to conserve as much energy as possible.

(Video) Extreme heat can put outdoor workers at risk

Steps you can take to prevent an outage include:

  • Set your air conditioner thermostat no lower than 78 degrees.
  • Use the air conditioner when you are home. If you want to cool your home before you return, set a timer that turns on no earlier than 30 minutes before you arrive.
  • Turn off nonessential appliances.
  • Have emergency supplies on hand in case of an outage. If you lose power, notify your utility provider immediately.
  • If you lose power, notify your utility provider immediately.
  • Learn more about power outages

What the City Does

The City works closely with the National Weather Service to monitor severe weather threats that could affect the five boroughs. The City uses several forms of outreach to alert the public in an emergency, including Notify NYC, the City of New York's official emergency communications program. The City also shares information with service providers who opt in through the Advance Warning System.

During periods of extreme heat, when the heat index is predicted to be dangerously high, New York City opens cooling centers. Cooling centers are air-conditioned spaces, such as older adult centers, community centers, public libraries, and other public facilities that typically operate during daytime hours and are free and open to the public.

(Video) Intense heat wave heightens fire risk

Additionally, the NYC Fire Department (FDNY) and NYC Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) may distribute hydrant spray caps to conserve water. Opening hydrants without a cap results in a drop in local water pressure and threatens firefighting capabilities.

When a heat advisories are in effect, the City installs spray caps on fire hydrants on certain NYC Department of Transportation's (DOT) Open Streets with dense tree canopy cover. Open Streets with cooling features are also called "Cool Streets."

Cool It! NYC is a citywide plan to increase the amount of cooling features available to the public during heat emergencies, particularly in neighborhoods that face the dangers of high heat. Learn more about Cool It! NYC and find places near you to hydrate, refresh, and stay in the shade from NYC Parks.


How can we prevent heat hazards? ›

Tips for Preventing Heat-Related Illness
  1. Wear Appropriate Clothing: Choose lightweight, loose-fitting clothing.
  2. Stay Cool Indoors: Stay in an air-conditioned place as much as possible. ...
  3. Schedule Outdoor Activities Carefully: Try to limit your outdoor activity to when it's coolest, like morning and evening hours.

Which types of hazards involve extreme heat? ›

Physical Hazards

Extreme heat can cause heat stroke, heat cramps, heat exhaustion, heat rash, and other problems. Extreme cold can cause hypothermia, frostbite, and other problems.

What is a heatwave plan? ›

The aims of the plan are to prepare, alert and prevent the major avoidable effects on health during periods of severe heat in England. It recommends a series of steps to reduce the risks to health from prolonged exposure to.

How do you deal with extreme heat at work? ›

Wear a brimmed hat and loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Spend time in air-conditioned buildings during breaks and after work. Encourage co-workers to take breaks to cool off and drink water. Follow additional tips on how to prevent heat-related illness.

How do you manage a heatwave? ›

Here are a few tips for keeping cool during the heatwave.
  1. Be sun smart. ...
  2. Wetter is better. ...
  3. Drink plenty of water. ...
  4. Keep your home cool. ...
  5. Keep cool at night. ...
  6. Limit your alcohol. ...
  7. Eat light meals to feel cooler. ...
  8. Limit physical activity to cooler parts of the day.

What are 5 overheating prevention tips? ›

A vehicle's engine can be affected by heat at any time when it operates in difficult conditions, during a heat wave for example.
5 Ways to Prevent Your Engine From Overheating
  1. Check the Cooling System. ...
  2. Use the Right Equipment. ...
  3. Be Smart. ...
  4. Keep a Watchful Eye. ...
  5. Relieve Your Engine.
12 Jul 2022

What is the prevention of heat? ›

General prevention of heat illness includes the following: Take breaks and rest in shaded areas. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Avoid vigorous physical activities in high heat.

What are five ways to prevent heat related emergencies? ›

When temperatures are very high, make sure to:
  • Get Plenty to Drink. Sweating removes needed salt and minerals from the body. ...
  • Stay Cool Indoors. The best way to beat the heat is to stay in an air conditioned area. ...
  • Wear Light Clothing and Sunscreen. ...
  • Schedule Outdoor Activities Carefully. ...
  • Pace Yourself. ...
  • Use a Buddy System.
1 Sept 2022

What are the 5 types of hazards? ›

The aim of this guide is to help you understand the different categories of hazards, so you can confidently identify them in your workplace.
  • Biological Hazards.
  • Chemical Hazards.
  • Physical Hazards.
  • Safety Hazards.
  • Ergonomic Hazards.
  • Psychosocial Hazards.
7 Jan 2019

What is a heat stress plan? ›

The Heat Stress Program was established to promote health and safety of occupational activities in locations where elevated temperatures and humidity exist. The heat stress program is administered by the Division of Occupational Health and Safety (DOHS) through the Heat Stress Program Manager.

What type of hazard is heatwave? ›

Heatwaves are among the most dangerous of natural hazards, but rarely receive adequate attention because their death tolls and destruction are not always immediately obvious. From 1998-2017, more than 166 000 people died due to heatwaves, including more than 70 000 who died during the 2003 heatwave in Europe.

How do I prepare my house for heatwave? ›

What you could do now, before hot weather
  1. Shade or cover windows exposed to direct sunlight. ...
  2. Check that windows or vents can be opened.
  3. Check that the central heating system can be turned off.
  4. If applicable, check mechanical ventilations systems are switched on and operating in summer mode.
28 Jul 2022

How do you survive extreme heat without air conditioning? ›

Here are 14 methods for doing so.
  1. Stay hydrated. ...
  2. Take a cold shower or bath. ...
  3. Use cold washrags on your neck or wrists. ...
  4. Use box fans. ...
  5. Close your curtains or blinds. ...
  6. Sleep in breathable linens. ...
  7. Install energy-efficient light bulbs. ...
  8. Cook in the morning, with a slow cooker or outside.
19 Jul 2022

What is the importance of maintain safety when dealing with heat? ›

Heat illness is a serious medical condition that can result in muscle cramping, loss of consciousness and even death in some extreme cases. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has estimated that thousands of workers become sick due to exposure to heat every year.

What are four ways to prevent heat stress? ›

Still, heat‐related illness is preventable by following these guidelines when working outdoors in hot weather:
  1. Drink small amounts of cool water frequently, regardless of your activity level. ...
  2. Replace salt and minerals. ...
  3. Wear appropriate clothing. ...
  4. Protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide‐brimmed hat.

What is hazard control plan? ›

A hazard control plan describes how the selected controls will be implemented. An effective plan will address serious hazards first. Interim controls may be necessary, but the overall goal is to ensure effective long-term control of hazards.

What are the four 4 main steps in hazard management? ›

You should always aim to remove a hazard completely from your workplace.
Sometimes using more than one control measure could be the most effective way to reduce the exposure to hazards.
  • 1 Eliminate the hazard. ...
  • 2 Substitute the hazard. ...
  • 3 Isolate the hazard. ...
  • 4 Use engineering controls.
9 Jun 2022

What are the safety hazards? ›

SAFETY HAZARDS: These are the most common and will be present in most workplaces at one time or another. They include unsafe conditions that can cause injury, illness and death. Safety Hazards include: • Spills on floors or tripping hazards, such as blocked aisles or cords.

What are the 4 safety hazards? ›

These presentations focus on the Big Four Construction Hazards – falls, electrocution, caught-in and struck-by. All training materials will cover the four hazards seen regularly on construction sites and will focus on the methods for the recognition and the prevention of these common hazards.

What are 10 common hazards? ›

Some industries naturally carry more risks, but we have outlined the top 10 most common workplace hazards that pose a threat: Hazardous chemicals, which include the following: acids, caustic substances, disinfectants, glues, heavy metals (mercury, lead, aluminium), paint, pesticides, petroleum products, and solvents.

What are the 6 common hazard and risk in workplace? ›

Hazards frequently identified by the consultants include tasks related to working at height, chemicals, housekeeping, electrical, forklifts, lockout/tagout and confined spaces.

How do you prevent and control hazards in your home environment? ›

Hazards in the home
  1. reduce flammable clutter, such as old boxes or paper.
  2. never leave cooking unattended.
  3. maintain any fireplaces and chimneys, with regular inspections from a professional, and.
  4. assess electrical systems, and seek the assistance of an electrician if you notice frayed or loose wires.

What should be part of a heat illness prevention plan? ›

Training will include all aspects of implementing an effective Heat Illness Prevention Plan, including providing sufficient water, providing access to shade, high-heat procedures, emergency response procedures, and acclimatization procedures contained in the company's written plan.

How can heat stress be prevented in the workplace? ›

How to prevent heat stress
  1. Establish a heat illness prevention program. ...
  2. Provide education and training. ...
  3. Allow workers to acclimatize. ...
  4. Reduce exposure to hot environments. ...
  5. Increase air circulation. ...
  6. Monitor the health of workers. ...
  7. Prevent dehydration. ...
  8. Provide frequent rest breaks.
8 Jun 2022

What are the OSHA rules for working in heat? ›

To prevent heat illness, the law requires employers to provide outdoor workers fresh water, access to shade at 80 degrees and whenever requested by a worker, cool-down rest breaks in addition to regular breaks and maintain a written prevention plan with training on the signs of heat illness and what to do in case of an ...

What is kind of hazard of extreme hot and cold temperature? ›

Working in extreme temperatures, hot or cold, can inundate the body's temperature control system. When the body is unable to warm or cool itself properly, illness can result. Heat and cold stress can contribute to adverse health effects that range in severity from discomfort to death.

What is heat and temperature hazards? ›

Exposure to extreme heat can result in occupational illnesses caused by heat stress, including heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat syncope, heat cramps, heat rashes, or death.

What causes extreme heat waves? ›

Heat waves are typically caused by "unusually strong, high pressure systems," said Feldkircher. According to the Farmer's Almanac, air from atmospheric upper levels is pulled downward and is then compressed, causing increases in temperature. The longer this high pressure system stays, the hotter the area becomes.

How do you prepare to adjust to a harsh climate at home? ›

5 Things You Can Do to Your Home to Prepare for Climate Change
  1. Target your windows. There's really no reason to keep old windows that are in disrepair and/or not energy efficient. ...
  2. Consider different roofing materials. ...
  3. Balance insulation with ventilation. ...
  4. Look into rainwater harvesting. ...
  5. Keep it all in perspective.

How do you manage in this heat without air? ›

Check out these 10 tips and learn how to stay cool without AC.
  1. Grab a Cold Drink. ...
  2. Eat a Frozen Snack. ...
  3. Close Your Blinds. ...
  4. Relax in a Cold Bath. ...
  5. Upgrade Your Fan. ...
  6. Apply Ice Packs or Cold Washcloths. ...
  7. Invest in Cooling Bedding. ...
  8. Freeze Your Clothes.
28 May 2021

How do you build resilience to extreme heat? ›

To improve resilience to future extreme heat events, cities can incorporate heat island reduction strategies—such as green or cool roofs, cool pavements, or increased vegetation and trees—into long-term planning efforts to help lower urban temperatures.

How do people live in extreme heat? ›

Keep cool. Seek out air-conditioned buildings, draw your blinds, use a fan, take cool showers and dress in light and loose clothing made from natural fabrics. Plan ahead. Schedule activities in the coolest part of the day and avoid exercising in the heat.

How do humans survive extreme heat? ›

Your heart beats harder to push blood to your skin, where it can cool down. Sweating is also essential for cooling your body, but it gets harder as humidity increases. In extreme cases of heat stroke, your body essentially begins to cook, breaking down cells and causing organ damage.

What are 5 ways of building resiliency? ›

Here are our top tips for improving your flexibility and adaptability.
  • Think positive. You can't always control life-changing events, but you can control how you respond to them. ...
  • Look after yourself. ...
  • Use your support network. ...
  • Work towards a goal. ...
  • Seek help.
25 Feb 2021

What are 3 ways to build resilience? ›

Tips to improve your resilience
  • Get connected. Building strong, positive relationships with loved ones and friends can provide you with needed support, guidance and acceptance in good and bad times. ...
  • Make every day meaningful. ...
  • Learn from experience. ...
  • Remain hopeful. ...
  • Take care of yourself. ...
  • Be proactive.

What are the 5 strategies to build resilience to stress? ›

Here are 12 of those resilience practices (squeezed into five categories), which can help you confront emotional pain more skillfully.
  • Change the narrative. ...
  • Face your fears. ...
  • Practice self-compassion. ...
  • Meditate. ...
  • Cultivate forgiveness.
9 Nov 2016

How do you deal with extreme heat without air conditioning? ›

Here are 14 methods for doing so.
  1. Stay hydrated. ...
  2. Take a cold shower or bath. ...
  3. Use cold washrags on your neck or wrists. ...
  4. Use box fans. ...
  5. Close your curtains or blinds. ...
  6. Sleep in breathable linens. ...
  7. Install energy-efficient light bulbs. ...
  8. Cook in the morning, with a slow cooker or outside.
19 Jul 2022

How do you survive extreme heat outside? ›

12 Top Tips for Surviving the Summer Heat During Your Outdoor...
  1. Stay Hydrated. ...
  2. Go At Your Own Pace and Take Breaks. ...
  3. Bring Along Fruits. ...
  4. Go Swimming. ...
  5. Carry A Misting Bottle. ...
  6. Avoid Using Fans. ...
  7. Cool The Pulse Points. ...
  8. Dress Accordingly.
1 Jul 2019

How does extreme heat affects our environment? ›

Heat can exacerbate drought, and hot, dry conditions can in turn create wildfire conditions. Buildings, roads, and infrastructure absorb heat, leading to temperatures that can be 1 to 7 degrees F hotter in urban areas than outlying areas – a phenomenon known as the urban heat island effect.


1. Outdoor Working Hazards: Working in Extreme Heat
(Safety Controls Technology)
2. Climate change: Europe heat sparks harmful ozone pollution, 'extreme' fire risk • FRANCE 24
(FRANCE 24 English)
3. Heat Stress: Exposure Hazards, Health Effects, and Measurement Protocol
(COEH & California Labor Lab)
4. Hot Work: Hidden Hazards
5. Elderly and infants at high risk for heat-related medical emergencies
(WKMG News 6 ClickOrlando)
6. UK heatwave: Even the fit and healthy at risk in the heat
(Sky News)
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