JULY 8–HEAT ADVISORY FROM WESTCHESTER COUNTY

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89 HUMID SUNNY HAZY DEGREES IN THE MID-90S AT 4 PM

WESTCHESTER COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT SHARES HEAT AND AIR QUALITY ADVISORY

 

Heat Advisory in Effect Now Through Tuesday, July 9 at 8 p.m.

(White Plains, NY) – The National Weather Service has issued a Heat Advisory for Westchester County effective from 12 p.m. Monday, July 8 through 8 p.m. Tuesday, July 9. During this period, heat and humidity are expected to combine to make outdoor temperatures feel close to 100 degrees.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has issued an air quality advisory through 11 p.m. Monday, after rating the air quality in the Lower Hudson Valley and New York City metro area as unhealthy for sensitive groups.

The unhealthy rating is the third most concerning. Health officials recommend that sensitive groups, such as the very young, the elderly and the ill, and especially those with respiratory conditions, remain indoors and limit their physical activity.

With heat, humidity and air quality in mind, the Westchester County Health Department is warning residents that these conditions can pose significant health risks. To protect themselves, residents are urged to stay hydrated, avoid strenuous outdoor activities, and check on vulnerable family members and neighbors.

Westchester County Commissioner of Health Sherlita Amler, MD, said: “Please take this heat seriously. Drink lots of water and don’t overexert yourself outdoors when it is this hot and humid. 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.”

Homes without air conditioning can be much hotter than outdoor temperatures. Use air conditioning to stay cool at home or go to an air conditioned place. If you don’t have home air conditioning, continue to seek out cool spaces each day as long as it remains hot. Check on vulnerable friends, family members and neighbors.

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.

Amler reminded residents never to leave children, pets or people in a car. Temperatures can quickly rise to unsafe levels, so motorists should always look before they lock their vehicles.

Amler said: “To avoid tragedy, never leave infants, children, seniors or pets in a closed car no matter how brief the time,” Amler said. “Closed vehicles can quickly heat up to a life-threatening 140º F or more.”

 

Amler continued: “During a heat wave, seniors and young children 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 leading 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. 

To beat the heat, residents can cool off at a County beach or pool. Glen Island Beach in New Rochelle is open daily from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Croton Point Beach in Croton-on-Hudson is open Wednesdays through Sundays, 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. All four County pools, Saxon Woods in White Plains, Sprain Ridge and Tibbetts in Yonkers and Willson’s Waves in Mount Vernon are open daily from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Last entry at all facilities is at 6 p.m. Proof of Westchester County residency is required at Glen Island Beach and at all pools. Admission fees apply; parking fees apply at Glen Island, Croton and Tibbetts.

Residents who need a place to cool off also 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. 

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