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MANAGEMENT UPDATE.

CITIES MANAGE DEADLY HEAT

Last Thursday was the first day of summer, and the national press has been full of headlines about the hazards of horrific heat waves to the general population.  As CNN Reported that day, “A dangerous heat wave is scorching parts of the Midwest and Northeast, where record-breaking high temperatures are forecast across dozens of cities.” 


In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, “Heat-related deaths have been increasing in the U.S. with approximately 1,602 occurring in 2021, 1,722 in 2022 and 2,302 in 2023.


There are certainly lots of tips for individuals who are trying to escape the potentially deadly impact of extreme heat, but there are also a number of ways that state and local governments can help to save lives when the temperature shoots up, according to a recent brief by Gov1 written by Greg Friese.



One important role that government can play is to keep track of vulnerable populations, including the elderly and people without housing. Public private partnerships can help. For example, Costco has provided a grant to the St. Charles County Ambulance District in Missouri that has made it possible for volunteer medics to travel around the area to make sure that older residents have easy access to cold water in order to stay hydrated.


Community education is also critical. People may not be aware of the health hazards of extreme heat, so according to the Gov1 article, communities should use “department social channelsmedia outreach and face-to-face visits to discuss heat emergency signs and symptoms, prevention and emergency care.”


A third increasingly common opportunity to help are cooling centers, which are any facilities that can serve as a place where people can get air conditioning or cool water. Some cities like Los Angeles even provide on-line guides to the location of these places so residents can easily find them.


Unfortunately there isn’t universal concern about the impact of the heat on residents, and the state of Florida has even passed restrictions forbidding “city and county governments from. . . requiring water breaks and other cooling measures for outdoor workers,” according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.


#StateandLocalGovernmentManagement #StateLocalGovernmentPerformance #StateLocalEmergencyManagement #StateLocalClimateChangeManagement #StateLocalHeatSafety #StateLocalWorkforceSafety #StateLocalResidentSafety #CityHeatAndSocialEquity #StateLocalWorkforceSafety #Gov1 #CityHeatWaveResponse #StateLocalHeatWaveResponse

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