Extreme Heat Advice

Cool Tips for Hot Summer Days (1:24)


Heat is on average the greatest weather-related killer in the United States. Heat-related deaths and illness are preventable, yet annually many people suffer from the effects of extreme heat. Some individuals are at a higher risk for heat-related illness than others. Knowing the risk factors and symptoms of heat-related illness could save your life or the life of someone you love.

Explore this information about signs/symptoms of heat-related illness, vulnerable populations, and preventative steps you can take. Use this Extreme Weather Order Form to obtain some of these and other NYS Department of Health materials.

General Information

New York State

  • Cooling Centers. Use this interactive map to find where to cool off during extreme heat.
  • Keep Kids Out of Hot Cars! (PDF). Kids and hot cars are a deadly combination. These deaths are even more tragic because they could have been prevented.
  • Keep Your Cool During Summer Heat. Summertime heat can be dangerous for anyone, and some are at even higher risk for heat-related illness, even death. Here's what you can do to keep cool.
  • When it's Too Hot for a Fan. Not all methods of keeping cool are effective during a heat wave. Using a fan can be more harmful than helpful when indoor air temperatures are hotter than your body temperature.
  • NYS Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP): Cooling Assistance Benefit. This program generally offers assistance to low-income people to help pay the cost of heating their homes. It also offers cooling assistance to low-income households with individuals that have documented medical conditions that are exacerbated by heat.

Other Links

  • Extreme Heat and Your Health. This Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website contains information and resources for several at-risk populations.
  • Heat Safety Tips and Resources. The National Weather Service's Heat Safety Tips and Resources website contains helpful information on the differences between a Heat Advisory, Excessive Heat Watch, and an Excessive Heat Warning.
  • Heat Wave Awareness Project. This space, created by the National Center for Atmospheric Research provides users with a network of information and ongoing research from national labs, federal and state government branches, universities, and community groups.
  • Planning for Excessive Heat, Information for Older Adults and Family Caregivers (PDF). This US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) website has information about vulnerable groups like older adults, who are at particularly high risk for heat-related illnesses. It also provides simple steps people can take to protect themselves.
  • Heat Island. This USEPA website describes the heat island effect, how built up areas are generally hotter than nearby rural areas. It also describes strategies to help address this issue.

Information for Athletes / Coaches

  • Heat Index Procedures. The New York State Public High School Athletics Association has adopted extreme heat procedures for NY State public high school athletics departments.
  • Heat and Athletics. This CDC website describes how people who exercise in extreme heat are more likely to become dehydrated and get heat-related illness. It also provides tips for exercising when it's hot outside.

Information for Workers / Employers

  • Protecting Workers from Heat Illness. This CDC website describes how at times, workers may be required to work in hot environments for long periods. When the human body is unable to maintain a normal temperature, heat-related illnesses can occur and may result in death. This infosheet describes heat-related risk factors for workers, symptoms of heat-related illnesses, and recommendations to prevent future heat-related illnesses.
  • Water. Rest. Shade. The Work Can't Get Done Without Them. Under Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) law, employers are responsible for providing workplaces free of known safety hazards. This includes protecting workers from extreme heat. An employer with workers exposed to high temperatures should establish a complete heat illness prevention program.
  • Acclimatizing Workers. This OSHA website describes how susceptibility to heat-related illness can vary widely between workers. Workers become gradually acclimatized when exposed to hot conditions for several weeks. Physical changes in blood vessels and in sweating occur to dissipate heat more effectively. When the heat index is high, special precautions are needed to protect un-acclimatized workers while they adjust, particularly on the first few days of the job.

New York State Climate & Health Data

  • Heat Stress is heat-related illness caused by extreme heat events associated with climate change. Heat-related illnesses occur when the body is unable to cool itself. Explore data on the percent of heat stress hospitalizations and emergency department visits in New York State due to heat.
  • Heat Vulnerability Index Maps identify areas in the state where people are vulnerable to heat. Heat vulnerability is how likely a person is to be injured or harmed during periods of hot weather.