June 21, 2024

Heat Wave!

Heat Wave!

Temperatures are soaring, with the “heat dome” bringing record-breaking heat to the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and Great Lakes regions. As of this writing, 99 million Americans are living under heat alerts. It’s 79 degrees at 6:30am in NYC this morning as I finish writing this, with temps predicted to reach 95 degrees.

Thermostats in big cities, including New York, Boston, Chicago, and Washington, D.C., are expected to hit 90 degrees and above until there is a break. Here in New York State, officials have waived admission to public beaches, parks, and pools, and cities are spreading the word about cooling centers, such as libraries. Sounds like a good day to work from a nicely air conditioned office—remember those days?

Anyone can suffer heat-related exhaustion or heat stroke, so it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the National Weather Services’ brief guidelines on heat safety and the signs that the heat is creeping up on you. Officials are urging people to drink lots of water, take breaks if they have to be outdoors for long periods and dress appropriately for the weather.

If you’re an employer, now is a good time to make sure you have the right systems in place to protect workers, both indoors and out, from extreme heat. With changing weather patterns challenging employers in many parts of the country, the Department of Labor is moving rapidly on a proposed rule on workplace heat presented in late April. They’re worth checking out.

Meanwhile, OSHA started heat-related inspections in 2022 to make sure workplaces with the highest risk of heat-related problems have the right safety measures in place, like monitoring systems for ambient temperatures, a buddy system for workers, and an acclimatization program for returning workers.

Given the heat, it’s the perfect time to put all those weekend chores and home improvement projects on hold, kick back, and enjoy one of the cool summer drinks of 2024 while we’re still enjoying the long days of the year marked by yesterday’s Summer Solstice. Starbucks has announced its own line of bubble tea drinks, which has prompted a frenzy of online reviews, and many local downtowns have boba tea shops springing up.

With Gen Z drinking less than other generations, mocktails are also hot. Many bars and eateries now offer them as part of their main menus, mixing in enough healthy ingredients to rival your favorite juice bar.

It’s also the perfect time to hit the pool or beach. We relocate our home base this weekend from NYC to Long Island—where temps are reliably 10 degrees cooler than Manhattan and the ocean breeze and water are refreshing—until Labor Day. Hopefully Mother Nature provides that southwesterly breeze we need to cool things down.

On another note, it’s been a busy time of the year for Marcum’s diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) activities. June is PRIDE Month, and we were a proud sponsor of Boston PRIDE for the People Festival and Block Party on June 8. We were closed on Wednesday to honor Juneteenth, a federal holiday in the U.S. that marks the end of slavery after the Civil War and is also known as Freedom Day. We held a virtual tour of Greenwood Rising, an award-winning history center leading up to Juneteenth. As our firm expands, we want to make sure we attract and keep the best talent to serve our customers, and DEI is a big part of making sure everyone on our team has a sense of belonging and feels part of a meritocracy.

Happy Friday, everyone and stay safe and hydrated!