C4: Creating Climate Competency in our Communities
Extreme Heat and your Health
The CDC highlights the following groups as at risk:
Individuals with chronic conditions
Low socioeconomic status
Climate change is increasing the average daily temperature and number of extreme heat days, which can cause heat-related illnesses or exacerbate chronic conditions. About 210 million Americans live in counties that are vulnerable to extreme heat, particularly during the summer.
If carbon emissions continue at the current rate, the U.S. could see a 5-10°F increase in temperature by the end of the century.
Cities and industrial areas experience urban heat island effects where buildings absorb and store more heat especially when there aren’t trees and other green spaces which can have a cooling effect.
What can you do to avoid heat related illness?
Get linked to your community’s alerts during heat waves.
Maintain hydration, wear cool and loose clothing, and avoid strenuous activity when possible.
In your communities, it’s important to increase education about the risks of heat and talk to your doctor if you have chronic conditions or medications that may be impacted by high temperatures.
If you don’t have access to air conditioning, find out about possible community cooling centers.
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