With summer predicted to bring unprecedented heat waves, it's crucial to keep an eye on local temperatures. The EPA states that heat causes more deaths in the US than hurricanes, tornadoes, and floods combined. Many of these deaths can be prevented with the right information and resources.

Using the CDC’s Heat and Health Tracker

The CDC’s Heat and Health Tracker is an essential tool to help you stay informed. This tracker shows heat-related emergency room visits per 100,000 people by region, giving a clear picture of the public health threat. By comparing daily rates of emergency room visits, you can see how heat impacts health nationwide. This data is developed with NOAA’s National Weather Service, considering factors like humidity and local heat vulnerabilities.

Why This Data Matters

Prolonged exposure to high temperatures without proper cooling can lead to heat exhaustion or heatstroke. The tracker provides information on heat exposure and related health outcomes. For instance, on June 18th in Monroe County, NY, 190 people visited the emergency department for heat-related illnesses. Understanding this can help you plan your outdoor activities safely.

Understanding the Broader Picture

The Heat and Health Tracker initiative is part of the CDC’s HeatRisk Dashboard. This tool provides easy access to daily heat forecasts, associated health risks, and preventive measures like staying hydrated and how to recognize heatstroke symptoms.

This data, developed in collaboration with NOAA’s National Weather Service, accounts for factors like humidity and community-specific heat vulnerabilities.

Explore More: ThermApparel Cooling Vests: A Smart Way to Stay Cool

In addition to using the Heat and Health Tracker, wearing a ThermApparel Cooling Vest can help manage your body temperature during extreme heat. These vests are lightweight and effective, making them ideal for staying cool and safe.

How to Use the Heat and Health Tracker

  1. Go to the Heat and Health Tracker.

  2. Under “Daily Rates of Heat-Related Emergency Department Visits by HHS Region,” select your region or view all regions.

  3. Choose your date range to see data specific to your area.

    Map of United States showing Monthly Heat exposure dataMap of United States show Current Heat Exposure DataLine Graph showing Heat Danger for week of June 16, 2024

The Bigger Picture

Extreme heat is becoming more common in the US. Climate projections indicate more frequent and intense heat events in the future. While forecasting and warning systems have improved, extreme heat remains a significant cause of preventable deaths.

Heat-Related Illnesses

Hot weather can lead to heat-related illnesses like cardiovascular and respiratory issues, renal failure, and electrolyte imbalance. Vulnerable groups include pregnant people, those with heart or lung conditions, young children, older adults, athletes, and outdoor workers.

Stay Informed and Prepared

For health centers and hospitals, this information is vital for anticipating patient needs during heat waves. For individuals, it’s a tool for understanding personal risk. People with certain medical conditions, older adults, and young children are especially vulnerable to heat-related illnesses and should take extra precautions to stay cool.

The information in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or qualified health provider with any questions about medical conditions or health goals.

For More Tips on Staying Safe in the Heat, Explore Heat-Related Information and How to Craft Your Own Cooling Plan

Part 1: Improve you #HeatIQ

Part 2: Why a Cooling Plan is Important

Part 3: Personal Risk Factors

Part 4: Environmental Factors of Heat-Related Illness

Part 5: Actions You Can Take

Part 6: Building the Ultimate Cooling Toolbox

Part 7: How a ThermAppare Cooling Vest Can Help You In The Heat