Residents, officials prepare for summer scorcher

With temperatures hovering in the 90s and humidity set to rise over the next few days, local officials are taking precautions to make sure everyone stays safe in hot, sticky weather.

Ever since the widespread blackouts in the summer of 2003 that left nearly all of Westchester without power for more than 30 hours, conserving energy during heat waves has been a high priority.

Energy authorities advise residents to use fans whenever possible because they use less electricity than air conditioners do. They also recommend turning off unneeded lights and appliances like computers and televisions. Using cooking and laundry equipment early in the morning or late at night may be helpful. Such devices generate heat and humidity, energy authorities say.

Some towns are opening cooling centers for those who need to escape the heat, especially residents without air conditioning.

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