New Online Resource From New York State Department of Health Helps New Yorkers Cool Off in Extreme Heat

ALBANY, N.Y. ( September 3, 2015) -- The New York State Department of Health (DOH) has created an online list of cooling centers across the state, where people can cool down on days of extreme temperatures.

The website provides addresses and phone numbers for cooling centers shared by local health departments and emergency management offices. For counties with no listings, DOH recommends visiting local libraries, supermarkets, malls, spray parks and community swimming pools to stay cool. Visitors should call before going since some cooling centers may be closed at certain times or available only during extreme heat events.

"When we have several days in a row of high temperatures, it's extremely important that people find places to stay cool," said Commissioner of Health Dr. Howard Zucker. "Spending just a few hours a day in air conditioning can help prevent heat-related illness and heat stress."

Knowing where to go to stay cool in extreme heat is especially important for older adults, children and those without access to air conditioning at home or at work.

Heat-related illness occurs when the body cannot cool itself. The most common illnesses are heat stroke (sun stroke), heat exhaustion, heat cramps and heat rash. Heat stroke is a medical emergency that produces a range of symptoms including hot, dry skin; body temperatures of 105 degrees F or higher, rapid pulse and loss of consciousness. Heat exhaustion, which can lead to heat stroke, can cause heavy sweating, fainting, vomiting, and weakness.

The Cooling Center website was developed with funding from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority with support from the New York State's Environmental Public Health Tracking Program, which provides data and information about a variety of environmental health topics.

To see the Cooling Centers web page, visit:

For more information on the symptoms and treatment for heat-related illnesses, visit Keep Your Cool During Summer Heat.