NEW YORK (PIX11) — A summer swelter arrived in a big way this week, and the scorching temperatures are expected to last into next week.
- Ensure that home air conditioners are installed snugly to maximize efficiency. Emergency Management recommends running air conditioners at a temperature of about 78 degrees to keep things tolerable while saving on your electric bill and doing your part to limit electricity usage.
- Consider installing temporary reflectors between windows and drapes to reflect sunlight back outside. Cardboard wrapped with aluminum foil should get the job done, according to NJ 211.
- Alternatively, seek out your local cooling center for a respite from the heat. New York City cooling centers can be found on this map, including accessible and pet-friendly cooling centers. For New Jersey cooling centers, consult this NJ 211 list, updated as new openings are announced.
- Consult the New York City Parks Department’s guide to other spots to cool off, ranging from drinking fountains and leaf-lined blocks to outdoor pools.
- New Yorkers can open up fire hydrants for a DIY sprinkler but should do so responsibly. People 18 and older can visit their local FDNY firehouse to sign up for a hydrant cap to help beat the heat. Opening a hydrant without a cap can waste 1,000 gallons of water per minute and limit the FDNY’s ability to fight fires, according to Emergency Management.
Take care of yourself
- Stay indoors as much as possible and limit strenuous work during the hottest part of the day.
- Eat well-balanced but light meals, drink plenty of water, and cut out alcohol.
- If you’re headed out, dress in loose-fitting, light-colored clothing, wear a wide-brimmed hat, and use sunscreen.
- Know the signs of heat-related illnesses, ranging from sunburn to heat stroke. NJ 211 has lists of symptoms of sunburn, heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke, as well as ways to treat each.
…And each other
- Check in on neighbors and loved ones during extreme heat, especially seniors, children, and those with disabilities. Emergency Management recommends making contact at least twice a day by phone.
- Never leave children or pets alone in parked cars during periods of intense heat.
- If strenuous work is truly essential on hot days, NJ 211 recommends using the buddy system, working with someone else and monitoring each other for signs of heat-related illness.
What tips do you have?