Help save lives: check on vulnerable neighbors during the heat wave

Help save lives: check on vulnerable neighbors during the heat wave

Dangerously hot weather is forecast for today and tomorrow. 

It’s important to remember that extreme heat is one of the most dangerous forms of extreme weather amidst climate change.  Heat waves are not as dramatic as hurricanes … but they are no less deadly. As Eric Klinenberg showed in his book “Heat Wave,” the Chicago heat wave of 1995 killed seven times as many people as Superstorm Sandy.

As we did after Sandy – at the Park Slope Armory, in Red Hook, in the Rockaways – we can save lives by working together.

First, of course, keep yourself safe. Stay in a cool place. Drink. Wear sunscreen. Visit a cooling center if you need to.  

Next, check on elderly and vulnerable neighbors, friends, and relatives.

Checking in, helping them get enough to drink, get to a cooling center, or get to care can be the difference between life and death.

More tips (including a list of cooling centers) here.

It is important to focus on what we can do to reduce the risks of climate change, through clean energy, building retrofits, and waste reduction. And to focus on physical resilience, on infrastructure to address future storms.

But right now, it will be our “social resilience” that makes the difference. Let’s show once again what New Yorkers do to take care of each other.

Stay cool, and help others do so as well.


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