Widespread Hazardous Weather Conditions

Governor Hochul has issued a statement alerting New Yorkers to prepare for the anticipated high heat and poor air quality. There is also the potential for thunderstorms and rainfall associated with Hurricane Beryl. New York weather systems can be highly regionalized, and all providers are urged to monitor local weather forecasts and alerts from a reliable source like the National Weather Service (NWS).

High Heat: NYC Metro, Hudson Valley, Long Island

New Yorkers around the state are urged to monitor their local forecasts as above average temperatures in combination with increased humidity will result in hazardous heat conditions in the coming days. “Feels like temperatures” at or above 95 degrees may result in an increased risk of heat illnesses. The National Weather service has issued heat advisories for the Hudson Valley, New York City, and portions of Long Island beginning at noon today (Monday, July 8). The heat is expected to continue into Tuesday.

Healthcare providers, including home and community-based services organizations, should anticipate and prepare for an increase in heat-related illnesses and complications among vulnerable populations. Most heat-related illness sufferers do not have (or don’t use) air conditioners and succumb in their own homes.

Homecare agencies and healthcare providers are strongly urged to contact their caregivers and most vulnerable patients to raise awareness and advise them to stay cool and well hydrated. Be vigilant in monitoring for symptoms of possible heat-related illnesses such as dehydration, heat cramps/exhaustion/stroke, and complications from heart and lung disease.

Instruct patients and caregivers to use home air conditioners or seek cooling centers or locations that are air-conditioned such as a mall, library, or supermarket.

  • A list of cooling centers can be found on the NYSDOH Cooling Center Locator. New York City residents can call 311 or visit the city’s cooling center website to find safe locations during a heat wave. Note that the NYC cooling centers (and the website tool) are only activated during times of high heat.
  • DOH has additional resources on their Extreme Heat Advice webpage. Visit the Department of Environmental Conservation website for more information on NY State efforts regarding extreme heat and its effects on individuals.
  • Those in need of air conditioning units or utility assistance can be referred to the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) cooling assistance program. Medical documentation is not necessary to show need, but your clients may need help with the application. HCP reminds providers that home care workers are also safer in an air-conditioned environment during a high-heat event.
  • Monitor weather conditions daily to keep workers informed, and be sure caregivers keep patients informed of weather alerts at each shift.

Air Quality: NYC Metro

The Departments of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and DOH also issued an Air Quality Health Advisory in the New York City Metro (New York City, Rockland, Westchester) region for ozone today, July 8 until 11pm.

People with cardiovascular or respiratory diseases (like asthma), young children, outdoor exercisers, and those engaged in strenuous outdoor work should consider limiting intense physical activity during high ozone periods, typically from afternoon to early evening. Moving indoors can often reduce exposure to elevated ozone levels. If you experience symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest pain, or coughing, consult your personal physician.

Ozone levels usually drop at night. During the day, you can help minimize ozone levels by reducing car travel and using public transportation when possible.

Thunderstorms and Rain: Upstate Regions

There is the potential for thunderstorms and rainfall associated with Hurricane Beryl beginning Tuesday night, July 9 and extending into Thursday, July 11 for much of upstate. Isolated instances of flash flooding are possible.

HCP urges all providers to monitor local forecasts, inform staff and patients, and prepare vehicles and households for these weather events. Use extreme caution when traveling, as roadways may be flooded and infrastructure can be damaged. NEVER drive through standing water.

HCP Support

HCP encourages you to sign up for NY Alert, the state’s Mass Notification System to warn citizens in a timely manner of emergencies and provide other critical information.

Monitor weather conditions daily to keep workers informed, and be sure caregivers keep patients informed of weather alerts at each shift.