2011 Hot Weather and Health Survey Findings and Recommendations
Between June 6 and August 20, 2011 community partners in Ingham County, Michigan worked together to collect information from residents about their experiences with the increasing numbers of extremely hot days in the county. This work was funded by the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) as part of their Climate and Health partnership with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Michigan residents will continue to experience an increasing number of extremely hot days, particularly in urbanized areas where there is a heat island effect due to more paved areas and buildings and fewer trees and greenspaces.
Ingham County experienced numerous 90 degree days in late May and early June 2011. Emergency managers declared several days in June and July 2011 heat wave emergencies. Media partners issued emergency warnings and promoted ways to prevent heat-related illness, including seeking refuge at cooling centers. Vulnerable populations include seniors, children, and low-income residents. These groups tend are more sensitive to heat and/or have fewer options for staying cool; getting to cooler locations; and obtaining food, water, medications and other emergency supplies and resources.
The goal of the project is to help healthcare, emergency response and local and state agencies prepare residents for the increasing number of extremely hot days. Survey responses indicate that many Ingham County residents may not recognize the symptoms of heat-related illnesses, may not understand which medications increase risk of heat-related illness and may not have emergency supplies available in the event of a heat wave emergency. The ICHD Environmental Justice Coordinator and others are now implementing the final report recommendations by connecting with Ingham County emergency managers and providing information to seniors, parents, low-income residents and other Ingham County residents. For more information, contact Jessica Yorko at email@example.com or 517-272-4144.
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