When the heat will break, and where to cool off in northern Westchester and Putnam counties
The heat that has blanketed our area for the past several days is not ready to let up. The National Weather Service issued a Heat Advisory for northern Westchester county through Tuesday, August 9 at 8:00 p.m.
A Heat Advisory is issued when the combination of heat and humidity is expected to make it feel like it is 95 to 99 degrees for two or more consecutive days, or 100 to 104 degrees for any length of time.
In our area, heat index values are expected to creep into the lower 100s.
Due to the heat, the Westchester County Department of Health is advising residents to avoid strenuous activity, drink lots of water, avoid alcohol and caffeine, and take precautions to prevent heat-related illness.
“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 lots of water. And during a heat wave, remember to always check in on your elderly or ailing neighbors.”
Sherlita Amler, MD, Westchester County Commissioner of Health, said 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.
“Heat stroke and dehydration can take you by surprise,” Amler said. “High humidity, chronic health conditions and some medications can also increase a person’s risk for heat stroke.”
Heat stroke is a serious and life-threatening condition that claims many lives nationwide each year. Symptoms include hot red, dry skin, shallow breathing, a rapid, weak pulse and confusion. Anyone suffering from heat stroke needs to receive emergency medical treatment immediately. Call 911 if you suspect heat stroke and immediately cool the overheated person while waiting for emergency help to arrive.
Amler reminded residents never to leave children, pets or people in a car. Temperatures can quickly rise to unsafe levels, so motorists should always look before they lock their vehicles.
“To avoid tragedy, it’s also vital to never leave infants, children, seniors or pets in a closed car no matter how brief the time,” Amler said. “Closed vehicles can quickly heat up to a life-threatening 140º F or more.”
Another concern during a heat wave is heat exhaustion. Seniors, young children, people who are overweight or who have high blood pressure, people who work outside or in other hot environments are most at risk. Frequent breaks and drinking lots of water can help prevent heat exhaustion. Signs include headache, nausea or vomiting, dizziness and exhaustion, as well as cool, moist, pale or flushed skin. Anyone suffering from heat exhaustion should move out of the sun and apply cool, wet cloths to their skin.
Where to cool off in Westchester & Putnam counties
The following area cooling centers are available for residents who need to escape the heat:
- Bedford Hills Free Library; 26 Main Street, Bedford Hills, | 914-666-6472
- Brewster Library; 79 Main Street, Brewster | 845-279-6421
- Ruth Keeler Memorial Library; 279 Titicus Road, North Salem | 914-668-5161
- Heritage Hills Activity Center; 8 Heritage Hills Dr, Somers | 914-377-6450
- Lewisboro Library; 15 Main St, South Salem | 914-763-3857
- Mahopac Library; 668 Route 6, Mahopac | 845-628-2009
- Pound Ridge Library; 271 Westchester Avenue, Pound Ridge | 914-764-5085
- Somers Public Library; 82 Primrose St, Katonah | 914-232-5717
- Somers Nutrition Program (D Wayne Van Tassel Memorial Park); 98 Primrose St, Katonah | 914-232-0807
- Yorktown Community and Cultural Center; 1974 Commerce St, Yorktown Heights | 914-962-5758