HAZY HOT HUMID 95-100 HEAT MOVING IN TOMORROW. CHECK HEALTH DEPT FOR COOLING CENTERS.

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(White Plains, NY) – The National Weather Service has issued a Heat Advisory for Westchester County effective from noon on Tuesday, June 18 until 8 p.m. on Wednesday, June 19.

The heat is also expected to continue through the end of the week. During this period heat index values are expected to reach between 95 and 100 degrees, and the Westchester County Health Department is warning residents that high temperatures post significant health risks.

Residents are urged to take precautions to protect themselves and their families from the effects of the heat. It is important to stay hydrated, avoid strenuous outdoor activities, and check on vulnerable family members and neighbors.

Residents who need a place to cool off can check the Cooling Center FinderWhen it is too hot at home, senior centers, libraries, community centers and indoor malls offer a respite from the heat. Call before you go to be sure of the hours.

A Heat Advisory is issued when the combination of heat and humidity is make it feel like it is 95 to 99 degrees for two or more consecutive days, or 100 to 104 degrees for any length of time.

Seniors and those with chronic health problems are at an increased risk. Homes without air conditioning can be much hotter than outdoor temperatures. Use air conditioning to stay cool at home or go to a place that has air conditioning. If you don’t have home air conditioning, continue to seek out cool spaces each day as long as it remains hot.

To reduce risk during outdoor work, the Health Department recommends scheduling frequent rest breaks in shaded or air-conditioned environments.

·         Heat stroke is a serious and life-threatening condition that claims many lives nationwide each year. Symptoms include hot red, dry skin, shallow breathing, a rapid, weak pulse and confusion. Call 911 if you suspect heat stroke and immediately cool the overheated person while waiting for emergency help to arrive.

·         Another concern during a heat wave is heat exhaustion. Signs include headache, nausea or vomiting, dizziness and exhaustion, as well as cool, moist, pale or flushed skin. Anyone suffering from heat exhaustion should move out of the sun and apply cool, wet cloths to their skin.

Westchester County Commissioner of Health Sherlita Amler, MD said: “People who are most vulnerable to adverse effects from the heat include the very young, seniors, people who are obese and those with high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes or lung conditions. Heat stroke and dehydration can surprise you. High humidity, chronic health conditions and some medications can also increase a person’s risk for heat stroke.”

Amler reminded residents never to leave children, pets or people in a closed car, no matter how brief the time. Closed vehicles can quickly rise to a life-threatening 140º F or more.

 

Amler continued: “During a heat wave, seniors, young children and people with compromised immunity especially should avoid vigorous outdoor activity, seek the shade, spend time in air-conditioned locations and drink lots of water throughout the day. Especially when they’re swimming and playing in the water, children often forget to drink, so parents and caregivers should prompt children to take breaks to hydrate.”

Those who plan to travel by car should prepare their vehicle before hitting the road. Always travel with a spare battery and avoid leaving radios, phone chargers and other accessories running when the engine is not. Check to make sure your air conditioning is properly functioning and coolant is at the proper level. If you plan to travel in less populated areas, bring water and an umbrella for shade if it becomes necessary to leave the car. Always keep air flowing throughout the vehicle, and try to park in the shade. 

For tips to prevent heat-related illness and places to stay cool, residents can visit the Health Department website at www.westchestergov.com/health.

Residents who need a place to cool off can check the Cooling Center FinderWhen it is too hot at home, senior centers, libraries, community centers and indoor malls offer a respite from the heat. Call before you go to be sure of the hours.

Elevated heat and humidity can also lead to unhealthy levels of ozone, a gas produced by the action of sunlight on organic air contaminants from auto exhaust and other sources.  For air quality updates, go to https://www.airnow.gov. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation forecasts daily ozone conditions at (http://www.dec.ny.gov), or call the New York State Air Quality Hotline at 1-800-535-1345.

The County’s Department of Emergency Services is monitoring the weather forecast, tracking the opening of local Cooling Centers, and is in contact with Con Edison and NYSEG concerning the potential for power outages.

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