It's Too Darn Hot! The Impact of Heat on Your Community

 A glance at a chart of average temperatures in New York City during the summer  months (not withstanding the recent heat wave we’ve had) reveals typically it gets into the 80s during the daytime in July and  August, and cools off at night. This belies the reality—that this “average” is compiled by periods of gorgeous summer days, as well as those stretches of  heat and humidity that rival the Brazilian rain forest for sheer physical  discomfort. This is because New York is in the path of air streams from the  Gulf of Mexico, which bring not only humidity but also the summer storms, some  of which might be big enough to cause major damage.  

 And as Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg revealed in June, the city is preparing for  even worse weather to come along. “New York City has always faced climate risks, including heat waves, snow storms,  high winds, tropical storms, storm surges, lightning, and torrential downpours,” the official report on www.NYC.gov says. “These events affect every New Yorker, and as our climate changes, they will  become more frequent and severe. We need to reduce our contributions to climate  change, and simultaneously be ready for its effects.”  

 The report of the New York City Panel on Climate Change is even more blunt: “Environmental conditions as we experience them today will shift, exposing the  city and its residents to new hazards and heightened risks; we will be  challenged by increasing temperatures, changes in precipitation patterns,  rising sea levels, and more intense and frequent extreme events. While  mitigation actions that reduce greenhouse gas emissions will help to decrease  the magnitude and impact of future changes, they will not prevent climate  change from occurring altogether.”  

 Two decades from now, New York will be hotter, more humid, more at risk from  hurricanes and tropical storms, more at risk from flooding…and, as the ice caps melt and the sea level rises, more under water. Basically,  New York will be like New Orleans.  

 Happily, the mayor is taking this threat seriously but in the meantime, there  are things board members and property managers should be aware of that are  affected by the heat and humidity.  

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