Dangerous Heat Wave In Midwest, Along East Coast Prompts Officials To Find Ways To Protect Vulnerable Homeless, Seniors
Around the country, cities are mobilizing outreach teams, armed with supplies of water, to check on residents living on the streets or in housing without air conditioning. “We are treating this as the emergency it is,” said Josh Kruger, communications director for the Philadelphia Office of Homeless Services. In the District of Columbia, where the heat index is supposed to reach 115 this weekend, the mayor has declared a state of emergency and is keeping shelters open round the clock so people can try to cool off.
New Heat Wave Threatens Public Health In Cities, States
As a heat wave clamps down on much of the nation, cities are scurrying to provide shelter and assistance to the most vulnerable: the homeless and the elderly. Temperatures are expected to rise to dangerous levels along the Eastern seaboard and in the Midwest, with heat indexes expected to top 100 degrees and nightly lows in some places failing to fall below 80. Extreme heat can be deadly for anyone. But people living on the streets and seniors living on their own without air conditioning are particularly susceptible. (Wiltz, 7/19)
The Associated Press:
Heat Wave Forecast Prompts Chicago Public Housing Checks
Public housing officials in Chicago were planning wellbeing checks on residents as the heat and humidity are expected to mount to dangerous levels as part of a wave of sweltering weather covering a substantial portion of the U.S. Routine checks also will be done to make sure the temperature in housing units are at safe levels. Window air conditioners are available for emergency situations, Chicago's Housing Authority said Thursday. (7/18)
Kaiser Health News:
Has Your Doctor Asked You About Climate Change?
When Michael Howard arrived for a checkup with his lung specialist, he was worried about how his body would cope with the heat and humidity of a Boston summer. “I lived in Florida for 14 years, and I moved back because the humidity was just too much,” Howard told pulmonologist Dr. Mary Rice as he settled into an exam room chair at a Beth Israel Deaconess HealthCare clinic. Howard, 57, has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a progressive lung disease that can be exacerbated by heat and humidity. Even inside a comfortable, climate-controlled room, his oxygen levels worried Rice. (Bebinger, 7/19)