Killer heat: US cities plan for coming heatwaves

December 17, 2019
Aerial view of downtown Columbus along the Scioto River

When heatwaves hammered US cities this summer - one of the hottest summers in recorded history - some city governments had a plan in place. Philadelphia’s plan sent homeless outreach teams to distribute water and bring people to cooling centers. Austin’s plan suspended electricity shutoffs for low-income or fixed-income customers. Chicago’s plan dispatched building inspectors to monitor shelters and other buildings without air conditioning.

In Columbus, the rising heat index is forcing the city to recognize climate change as a public health threat. In response, the recently-drafted Columbus Climate Adaption Plan analyzes the health threat of heatwaves and identifies potential solutions for the future. 

Read more about the national response to worsening heatwaves - featuring quotes by Jason Cervenec of the Byrd Center - in The Guardian.