Climate and Health

Extreme heat, coastal storms, and flooding are climate-related hazards that are increasing because of climate change. They have important public health impacts in New York City. Extreme weather can cause power outages, which also threaten public health. This report provides neighborhood indicators of climate-related hazards, populations that may be most affected, built environment factors that can increase risk, and health impacts.

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Secondhand smoke at home

Adults reporting secondhand smoke at home. Secondhand smoke, especially indoors, is bad for health - particularly for the health of children.

Homes near structures rated good or excellent

Building quality predicts the number of housing maintenance deficiencies in a residence that place residents at increased risk of acute or chronic health problems.

Neighborhood poverty

The percent of households with incomes below the federal poverty level. Households without sufficient resources are often deprived of access to items such as health care and good quality housing that are needed to maintain good health.

Land percentage in hurricane evacuation zone

Hurricane Evacuation Zones are determined by New York City Emergency Management and indicate varying threat levels of coastal flooding from storm surge. Evacuation orders may be given during hurricanes or coastal flooding events. There are six zones, ranked by storm surge risk. Zone 1 is the highest risk for flooding. Residents in these zones may receive evacuation orders during hurricanes or tropical storms.

Daytime summer surface temperature

Surface temperatures vary based on vegetative cover (which promotes cooling), as well as by materials that retain heat (like paved roads, sidewalks, and buildings). Hotter neighborhoods tend to have more heat-exacerbated deaths associated with extreme heat events.

Vegetative cover

Vegetative cover is the land covered by trees, grass, or other plants instead of a hard surface like roads, sidewalks, or buildings. Vegetative cover tends to reduce temperatures in the immediate area and may increase air quality.

Serious psychological distress

Mental health conditions like series psychological distress can be worsened by extreme weather such as heat waves and coastal storms.

Independent living difficulty (adults)

People with disabilities or access or functional needs may need additional support during extreme weather. For example, they may need extra planning for safe travel out of evacuation zones during a hurricane, or back-up electricity to support medical equipment during power outages. Information provided here about adults with independent living difficulties can help emergency management professionals better prepare our residents for emergencies.

Older adults living alone

Older adults are more vulnerable to extreme weather. Those living alone may have more difficulty getting resources they need in an emergency, and are at higher risk of weather-related illnesses like heat stroke and hypothermia.

Older adults with air conditioners (age 65+)

Older adults (over 65) are more vulnerable to hot weather and heat stress. Air conditioning reduces the risk of heat stroke and other heat-related illness.

Asthma emergency department visits (age 5 to 17)

Severe asthma attacks can result in a visit to the ED. Things like smoke, air pollution, dust mites, cockroaches, mold, pollen and pet dander can trigger asthma.