As you may know — or are directly experiencing for yourself — parts of the northeastÂ are havingÂ theirÂ firstÂ heat wave of the year. Here in New York, the City’s Office of Emergency Management has been reminding citizens to be careful of the heat.Â As I signed up forÂ OEM’sÂ public warningÂ mailing list,Â I received this notificationÂ email:
For the next four days the heat index in New York City is predicted to be in the high 90s. New Yorkers should hydrate, avoid strenuous outdoor activity, and stay in the shade when outside. Remember to check on neighbors who may need assistance. Seniors, young children, and people with special needs are particularly susceptible to heat-related illnesses
I am postingÂ this emailÂ less for the advice in the first sentence about protecting yourself (though it is important), but more toÂ highlight the second sentence which recommends checking in on neighbors with who mightÂ be vulnerable to the heat.
One of the most important things I’ve learned about disaster preparedness is that it’s not only about or for disasters.Â Many of things we do preparing and reacting toÂ emergencies, such as checking in our vulnerable neighbors,Â help make our communities stronger, more resilient and better places to liveÂ afterwards. And research continues to show that the communities that react best to disasters are the ones that are stronger to begin with. Checking in with your special needsÂ neighbors is a small way to contribute toÂ that strengthening process.