June 16, 2024

Mayor Adams unveils summer safety plans for NYC

 

As summer kicks off in New York City, Mayor Eric Adams is rolling out comprehensive safety measures to ensure residents and visitors can enjoy the season while staying safe. This summer, New Yorkers will benefit from increased lifeguard staffing and expanded cooling center options, reflecting the city’s proactive approach to addressing both recreational safety and extreme weather challenges.

With Memorial Day marking the unofficial start of summer, New York City’s beaches are now open, and public pools will welcome swimmers starting June 27. Recognizing the national lifeguard shortage, Mayor Adams announced changes to lifeguard hiring rules to align with state regulations and industry standards, allowing the city to recruit more qualified lifeguards. This move aims to keep more beaches and pools open, providing safe swimming environments throughout the summer.

Lifeguards will be on duty daily from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM until September 8. Mayor Adams emphasized the importance of swimming only when lifeguards are present and being mindful of surf conditions, particularly riptides.

As climate change brings more frequent and intense heat waves, the city has expanded its network of cooling centers and introduced a new “Cool Options” map, accessible online 24/7. This tool helps New Yorkers locate cooling centers, including public libraries, older adult centers, and museums. Special provisions have also been made for pet-friendly cooling centers.

For those needing help with purchasing air conditioners or fans, the Home Energy Assistance Program offers support. Residents can dial 311 or visit nyc.gov/311 for more information and eligibility criteria.

In addition to cooling centers, the city is enhancing its natural cooling systems. The Parks Department has planted over 15,000 new trees in 2024 and is on track to plant more than 18,000 by year’s end, marking the highest total in eight years.

Mayor Adams highlighted the need for readiness against other extreme weather events, such as hurricanes, flash floods, and wildfire smoke. The city has updated air quality emergency guidelines, improved monitoring, and increased outreach to vulnerable populations. Measures include potential modifications to school operations and outdoor events during severe air quality events, along with distributing high-quality masks to the public.

New Yorkers are urged to sign up for Notify NYC, the city’s free emergency notification system available in 14 languages, including American Sign Language. This service provides updates on weather, air quality, and other emergencies. Residents can visit nyc.gov/notify or call 311 to sign up.

With the Atlantic hurricane season predicted to be worse than usual, the city encourages residents to check if they live in one of the six hurricane evacuation zones by visiting nyc.gov/knowyourzone or calling 311. Planning evacuation routes and destinations in advance is crucial for safety.

Mayor Adams’ proactive measures aim to ensure that everyone in New York City can enjoy a safe, fun, and prepared summer season.

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