On July 26, the Biden administration launched Heat.gov—a new website through the National Integrated Heat Health Information System web portal—to provide the public and decision-makers with information to understand and reduce health risks related to extreme heat. This one-stop hub contains clear, timely and science-based data to “equip local officials and the public with robust and accessible information,” according to a White House press release.
Heat.gov is intended to meet the growing demand for an authoritative heat and health tool from heat resilience officers, doctors, nurses, first responders, researchers and the general public. It integrates maps, data and information from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Weather Service, the Climate and Health Outlook developed by the Department of Health and Human Services, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Heat and Health Tracker, and other governmental and nonfederal resources. This access to information enables communities to make informed decisions on a daily basis, as well as plan for the heat weeks and months ahead.
Over the past 30 years, extreme heat has been the most common weather-related cause of death in the United States, resulting in 700 fatalities per year—more than hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding or extreme cold. The mortality rate also disproportionately affects Native American and Black communities, as well as those living in the urban core or very rural neighborhoods. However, with the proper planning, monitoring and education, heat-related illnesses and deaths are largely preventable.
“Addressing the climate crisis, including extreme heat, has been a top priority for the Biden-Harris [administration], and at the Department of Commerce, we have been working to use every tool at our disposal,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “Heat.gov leverages innovation and data to help deliver timely and accurate information to the public. As extreme heat conditions impact millions of Americans, this site will help ensure that all our communities, including our most vulnerable, have access to the data, tools and resources they need to mitigate heat impacts.”
For more heat- and health-related information, visit Heat.gov.