During NYC’s heat wave, find a cooling center near you

Posted On Fri, August 13, 2021 By

Posted On Fri, August 13, 2021 By In City Living

Screenshot taken on 8.13.21 of NYC Cooling Center Finder

While the current heat dome isn’t predicted to last as long as the city’s longest heatwave in August 1953 (which persisted for 12 insufferable days!) today’s heat index is expected to reach 107 degrees. An excessive heat warning is in effect until 8pm tonight, so many of the city’s 500 cooling centers across the five boroughs remain open to provide relief to those who are most vulnerable during the heatwave. With this interactive map, you can find all of the air-conditioned public facilities in your neighborhood (and which ones accept your furry friends).

At a press conference yesterday at the Brooklyn headquarters of New York City Emergency Management, Mayor de Blasio urged New Yorkers to stay hydrated, only keep kids outside for a short time, check in on neighbors and seniors, and reduce energy use in order to avoid any service outages. He also pointed to the recent UN climate report, which says extreme weather like this is only going to persist. Emergency Management Commissioner John Scrivani also noted that his agency has activated its flash flood plan, as there have been severe thunderstorms the past few evenings.

The city currently has activated 369 cooling centers, 121 of which have extended hours and 32 of which are pet-friendly. The city also has a new partnership with Petco, where owners can bring their pets into any store to cool off.

Public libraries, community facilities, and senior centers, and other sites will offer a spot to cool off. Those without air conditioning in their homes, the elderly, and those who are pregnant are especially vulnerable to extreme heat.

Other places to beat this heat for free this week include spray showers at the city’s parks and playgrounds, public pools (with hours extended to 8 p.m.), and beaches. And those 18 and older can ask your local firehouse to uncap a fire hydrant and have it fitted spray cap, one way New Yorkers have been cooling off since 1896.

To find a cooling center near you, just enter your address or intersection into the map’s search bar. The map labels all cooling centers, with those that are totally accessible marked with a wheelchair. The interactive map can be found here >>

For more information about the locations and hours of operation for cooling centers, contact 311. Find more health and safety tips to protect against extreme heat here >>

Editor’s Note: This story was originally published on July 17, 2019, and has been updated.

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