ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Upstate New York could be in for one of its hottest summers on record.

“It's certainly early in the season for us to see an extreme heat event,” Homeland Security and Emergency Services for the State of New York Commissioner Jackie Bray said. “Last year was the hottest year on record. We expect another really scorching year across the globe this year. And that's going to mean higher heat even in New York and even in upstate New York.”

After several unseasonably cool days, temperatures are again on the rise. Gov. Kathy Hochul issued a warning last Thursday for all residents to take precautions to stay cool and stay safe as the combination of severe storms, heat and humidity will pose a significant health risk.

"New Yorkers should take every precaution they can over this next week to stay cool and stay safe as the combination of severe storms, heat, and humidity will pose a significant health risk for vulnerable New Yorkers,” Hochul said in a statement. "My administration will be closely monitoring the weather impacts and we encourage New Yorkers to watch the weather forecast closely, stay hydrated, and have a plan if you need to cool off during this time.”

Hochul said on Monday that her office activated 50 members of New York National Guard to provide assistance as needed to communities.

“The first job is to get the word out to New Yorkers and to make sure that New Yorkers have the information they need to keep them safe,” Bray said. “The second job is to make sure that all of our localities, all of our counties have what they need. And then finally, it's our job to coordinate state agencies. And so we're talking to all of our partners, whether it's the Department of Health, about getting messages out.”

State officials are urging residents to keep themselves hydrated, avoid staying in the sun for long periods of time and utilize cooling centers listed by the Department of Health.

“This is particularly dangerous for folks over 60 or very young children and infants,” Bray said. “And so if you've got people in your life that fit that description, call them up, make sure they've got somewhere cool to go.”

Rochester resident Dan Staffo and his daughter have been taking advantage of their local cooling center for three years.

“It was closed last year,” Staffo said. “So it's back open this year. But we missed it last year, didn't we? Yeah. But yeah, she's looking forward to today. She was here yesterday. Probably be here Tuesday.”

Hochul assured residents that the state will continue to provide updates on this "extreme event," ensuring state staff are ready to deploy emergency response assets and supplies as needed.

“We are going to experience more heat waves here and around the globe,” Bray said. “Folks are going to experience more heat waves. And we're going to have to get smarter about how to protect each other in the heat.”

Know before you go safety tips

The governor's office released these tips on how you can prepare for severe weather:

  • Know the county in which you live and the names of nearby cities. Severe weather warnings are issued on a county basis.
  • Learn the safest route from your home or business to high, safe ground should you have to leave in a hurry.
  • Develop and practice a "family escape" plan and identify a meeting place if family members become separated.
  • Make an itemized list of all valuables including furnishings, clothing and other personal property. Keep the list in a safe place.
  • Stockpile emergency supplies of canned food, medicine and first aid supplies and drinking water. Store drinking water in clean, closed containers.
  • Plan what to do with your pets.
  • Have a portable radio, flashlights, extra batteries and emergency cooking equipment available.
  • Keep your automobile fueled. If electric power is cut off, gasoline stations may not be able to pump fuel for several days. Have a small disaster supply kit in the trunk of your car.

Have disaster supplies on hand, including: 

  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Battery-operated radio and extra batteries
  • First aid kit and manual
  • Emergency food and water
  • Non-electric can opener
  • Essential medicines
  • Checkbook, cash, credit cards and ATM cards

If you don’t have access to air-conditioning within your home, identify free locations in your neighborhood where you can go to stay cool such as a public library, pool or mall.

Click here to find a cooling center near you.

For more safety tips, visit the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Safety Tips.