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Beat the Heat: City's plan to keep New Yorkers cool and safe this summer amid pandemic

City fire hydrant open during hot weather
Posted at 11:11 AM, Jul 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-11 11:32:53-04

NEW YORK CITY — Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a new plans Thursday to help New Yorkers "Beat the Heat" this summer while keeping coronavirus precautions in mind.

The plans will expands the number of cooling features and centers across the city as temperatures rise, focusing on neighborhoods most at-risk during extreme heat.

While many New Yorkers will be staying inside when possible, the city is advising everyone to use their air conditioners, even if it is only for a few hours.

Back in May the city announced it would buy and install over 74,000 air conditioners for seniors, with 22,000 of those units going to seniors at NYCHA facilities.

This plan started in June and nearly 34,300 AC units have been installed over the past month, de Blasio said Thursday.

Additionally, the city's new "Cool It! NYC" initiative increases the amount of public cooling features, including many outdoors in city parks.

Cooling Centers

  • 145 cooling centers across the city ready to open now if needed for a heat emergency
  • Face coverings must be worn and social distancing guidelines will be in place, including limited capacity
  • City will provide face coverings and cleaning supplies for all cooling centers
  • Will be located at schools, community centers and other non-profit organizations

Cooling and misting locations

  • 130 outdoor locations in most heat-burdened communities
  • 650 spray showers now open in city parks

"Cool Streets"

  • 14 areas for expanded cooling options
  • Taking advantage of streets included in the city's Open Streets initiative

Fire hydrants

  • Over 300 hydrants can be opened with spray caps by the Department of Environmental Protection and FDNY
  • These hydrants will be opened during heat emergencies

Find a cooling center or outdoor cooling element near you by heading to NYC.gov/parks/CoolItNYC.

New Yorkers are advised to head to NYC.gov/BeatTheHeat for more safety tips and information on staying cool as the summer heats up.