2009-08-21 / Top Stories

OEM Advises On Heat Health

The New York City Office of Emergency Management (OEM) and Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) urge New Yorkers to take steps during extremely hot weather to prevent serious illness that can result from the heat, especially among vulnerable individuals such as seniors and those with chronic medical conditions.

The risk for getting sick during a heat wave is increased for people who are younger than 5, or older than 64; have chronic medical or mental health conditions; take medications, which can disrupt the regulation of body temperature; are confined to their beds or unable to leave their homes; or are overweight.

If you have a medical condition or take medications, check with your physician about precautions during hot weather.

Prolonged exposure to the heat can be harmful and potentially fatal. Symptoms of heat illness include hot, dry skin or cold, clammy skin; weakness; dizziness; nausea or vomiting; shortness of breath or trouble breathing; and confusion, hallucinations, disorientation.

To assist New Yorkers, during heat waves the City will open cooling centers in all five boroughs.

Cooling centers are public places, such as Department for the Aging (DFTA) senior centers and New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) community centers where air conditioning is available.

Call 311 (TTY: 212-504-4115) or log on to www.nyc.gov/oem to find the nearest cooling center.

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