CDC Launches Online Tool to Help Americans Manage Extreme Heat

In HealthDay News
by Healthday

Climate change is sending more and more people unprepared for heatwaves to the nation’s emergency departments

By Physician’s Briefing Staff HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, April 23, 2024 (HealthDay News) — The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has launched a new online heat forecaster to help communities better prepare for summer’s scorching temperatures.

The HeatRisk Forecast Tool is a joint effort between the CDC and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Weather Service to give Americans a week-long heads-up that broiling temperatures are headed their way. It is all close at hand at the HeatRisk Dashboard online — just enter a zip code for the latest forecast and updates.

Climate change is making for more and longer periods of hot, humid weather. Emergency department visits for heat-related illness peaked in many regions of the country last summer, and working-age people who were forced to labor outside faced higher risks.

But extreme heat experienced without the help of air conditioning can also be hazardous to people with underlying health issues, the CDC added.

The new HeatRisk tool “identifies health and temperature data to deliver a seven-day outlook for hot weather,” the CDC explained. “The tool uses a five-level scale to indicate how risky the heat level is in a specific area.” The tool is calibrated to assess the unique risks from heat to health that might come in specific areas of the United States.

“Pulling in data from the HeatRisk Forecast Tool, in the Dashboard people can enter their zip code and get personalized heat forecast information for their location alongside protective actions to take,” the CDC said. There is also information available on local area air quality, sourced from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency AIR NOW Air Quality Index.

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