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Everything you need to know about NYC cooling centers


With  New York bracing for its first heat wave of 2019, temperatures are expected to reach highs that could be dangerous for those with certain health conditions or without access air conditioning or cool environments.

An “official” heat wave is considered to be three or more consecutive days with the temperature reaching 90 degrees or greater. High temperatures are expected to exceed 90 degrees beginning Friday, and could stay that way through Monday.

The city opens cooling centers in public buildings to provide a safe space for New Yorkers to get some relief from the heat.

Sites where cooling centers are located include, according to the city’s website:

  • Libraries
  • Community centers
  • Senior centers
  • NYCHA facilities

Extreme heat in the city can be 10 degrees warmer than surrounding areas due to the “urban heat island” effect, which occurs as the asphalt, concrete and metal in the city traps the heat.

The city also says New Yorkers “should use a cooling center during a heat wave if you have no access to a cool environment, and particularly if you are at risk for heat-related illness.”

Find information about cooling centers in New Jersey here. You can also visit libraries, shopping malls, recreation centers, senior centers, and municipal buildings for alternatives.

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