One of the hardest things about living in New York City is staying cool during the summer. If you don’t have air conditioning in your home or your apartment, especially during a summer heatwave, please visit your local library!
All public libraries in New York City serve as official “cooling centers” during a heat emergency. Cooling centers are places where you can enjoy air-conditioned comfort. They are free and open to the public, even if you are not using their services. You can always call 311 or visit nyc.gov to find the nearest cooling center.
NYC Emergency Management will let the public know when a heat emergency happens, such as an unusually hot day, or several hot days in a row.
If you need a cool place to visit, or if you are at risk for heat-related illness, we are here for you.
Stop by your local branch of Queens Public Library this summer for great books, programs, and more—and stay for the air conditioning! To check any changes in the status of the air conditioning at your local library, please contact them directly.
Protect Your Health During a Heat Emergency
- If possible, stay out of the sun. When in the sun, wear sunscreen (at least SPF 15) and a hat to protect your face and head.
- Use an air conditioner if you have one. If you do not have an air conditioner, keep rooms well ventilated with open windows and fans. Fans work best at night, when they can bring in cooler air from outside.
- Consider going to a public pool, air-conditioned store, mall, movie theater, or a free NYC cooling center (like your local library).
- Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose clothing that covers as much of your skin as possible.
- Drink fluids—particularly water—even if you do not feel thirsty. (People with heart, kidney, or liver disease, or on fluid-restricted diets, should check with their doctors before increasing fluid intake.)
- Never leave children, pets, or those who require special care in a parked car during periods of intense summer heat.
- Avoid strenuous activity, especially during the sun’s peak hours—11 am to 4 pm. If you must engage in strenuous activity, do it during the coolest part of the day, usually in the morning between 4 am and 7 am.
- Cool showers or baths may be helpful, but avoid extreme temperature changes. Never take a shower immediately after becoming overheated—extreme temperature changes may make you ill, nauseated, or dizzy.
- If you have asthma or other respiratory problems, stay in an area where it is cool and the air is filtered or air-conditioned.
Source: NYC Emergency Management