Resources for Combating Deadly Heat-Related Illnesses

Heat related illness chart

Extreme heat is a growing public health threat. And the risk of a heat-related death is two to three hundred times higher for people living unsheltered than for the population at large, according to David Hondula, director of Phoenix’s first-in-the-nation Office of Heat Response and Mitigation.

Last year, homeless deaths in Maricopa County, home to Phoenix, were staggeringly high, and almost certainly an undercount. In recent years, the heat has been among the county’s biggest killers of people experiencing homelessness.

How can municipalities and health centers combat the deadly effects of climate change on those who live on the street? Experts agree that the best way to prevent people from dying on the streets is to house them. Short of that, communities must take mitigating action.

Health care providers are on the front lines of the climate and housing crises, and the deadly way those two things intersect.


Get technical assistance

Wondering how to address the effects extreme heat is having on the unhoused in your community? Need details on how other health centers are approaching this growing concern? Want to learn more about the process of setting up a cooling center? The National HCH Council can help!

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