With high humidity and temperatures forecasted to exceed 90 degrees for the next several days, the Westchester County Department of Health and other agencies are providing different resources to help county residents cope with the heat.
“Pace yourself, don’t overdo it in the heat,” said County Executive George Latimer. “If you spend a lot of time outdoors, take breaks in an air-conditioned place and drink plenty of water. During a heat wave, remember to check on your elderly or ailing neighbors and don’t leave your pets outside.”
Sherlita Amler, Westchester County’s commissioner of health, warned residents to be aware of heat stroke and dehydration symptoms.
“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,” Amler said. “Heat stroke is a serious and life-threatening condition that claims many lives nationwide each year.”
Symptoms of heat stroke include hot red, dry skin, shallow breathing, a rapid, weak pulse and confusion, she said. Anyone suffering from those symptoms is urged to immediately seek emergency medical treatment.
The Department of Health recommends taking the following precautions to prevent heat-related illness:
- Limit strenuous activity from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
- Wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses and use a broad-spectrum sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher.
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol and sugary drinks, which cause you to lose more body fluid.
- Never leave people or pets in a closed, parked vehicle.
- Stay indoors, ideally in an air-conditioned place.
The Department of Parks, Recreation & Conservation is keeping all pools and beaches open one hour beyond the scheduled closing time beginning now through July 4. Additional police coverage will be brought in to patrol the parks as needed.
The Department of Public Safety reminds everyone that swimming at a Westchester County Park is only permitted at designated pools and beaches staffed by lifeguards. Park rangers will be deployed throughout the county parks system and are trained to assist any person feeling the ill effects of the heat.
The County Police Marine Unit will also have increased patrols over the weekend in anticipation of increased boating traffic on the Hudson River. People should avoid using or being around illegal fireworks due to the risk of serious injury. The safe alternative is attending firework shows sponsored by the county or local communities.
The Department of Social Services’ (DSS) homeless shelters and drop-in sites will remain open 24 hours a day to act as cooling centers throughout the heat wave. If you need shelter, contact DSS Emergency Services at 914-995-2099. Also check with your local municipality for the latest availability, hours and locations of cooling centers.
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