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CDC Debuts New Heat and Health Initiative to Protect Americans

April 29, 2024

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) together with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Weather Service (NWS) released a new Heat and Health Initiative to protect Americans from heat exposure, particularly during heat events. 

The new initiative has three resources to provide proactive actions people can take to protect themselves, including:

  • HeatRisk Forecast Tool, developed by both CDC and NOAA, offers a seven-day heat forecast nationwide that informs when temperatures may reach levels that could harm people’s health.
  • HeatRisk Dashboard, CDC’s consumer-friendly product, integrates the HeatRisk Forecast Tool data with other information, including details on local air quality, to inform the public on how best to protect themselves when outdoor temperatures are high and could impact their health.
  • CDC clinical guidance helps clinicians keep at-risk individuals safe when temperatures rise. Heat can be especially dangerous for people with underlying health conditions.

“Heat can impact our health, but heat-related illness and death are preventable,” said Mandy Cohen, M.D., M.P.H., CDC Director. “We are releasing new heat and health tools and guidance to help people take simple steps to stay safe in the heat.”

Last year, more than two-thirds of Americans were under heat alerts. A recent CDC report found that daily emergency department visits because of heat-related illness in 2023 peaked in several regions during the warm-season months and, in those regions, remained exceedingly high for an extended duration.

For more information on what you can do to help keep your employees safe from heat-related illness, check out How to Prevent Workplace Heatstroke.

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