Philly’s Heat Warning System Saves Lives

The health department has met the challenges of heat mortality head on, taking innovative steps to mitigate deaths in recent years. “It used to be that when NWS issued an excessive heat warning, the city would automatically do the same thing, and then all these programs would get implemented,” says Garrow. But by cross-referencing data about when the NWS issued alerts with the city’s data about when people were actually dying from heat-related issues, the health department saw that the NWS-issued heat warnings “didn’t really match up with when we saw deaths.” In response, city has begun to issue heat health emergencies independently from the NWS.

By Ella Comberg