CSAC Bulletin Article

State Releases Draft Plan to Combat Extreme Heat

This week, the Newsom Administration released their draft of a statewide Extreme Heat Action Plan, aimed at better protecting communities during high heat events. The draft plan updates the state’s 2013 recommendations and outlines a number of focus areas, including monitoring deaths and illness caused by heat waves, supporting local extreme heat plans, cooling schools, and potentially establishing temperature limits for residential units.

Extreme heat causes more deaths than any other climate hazard in the United States and disproportionately harms poor and underserved communities. Counties play a critical role in protecting residents during heat emergencies. Local public health jurisdictions reach out to medically vulnerable residents, sheriff deputies perform welfare checks, public works departments ensure water availability, county infrastructure is transformed into cooling centers, and fire and emergency medical services respond to those struggling.

It is important that the state support local and regional emergency heat plans in order to save lives. A Los Angeles Times investigation found that between 2010 and 2019 an estimated 3,900 Californians died due to extreme heat, and that the state has done a poor job tracking these deaths and providing resources to its most vulnerable communities.

The state is hosting two workshops to solicit public feedback on the plan,  scheduled for January 24, 2022 at 9:00 a.m. and again at 4:30 p.m.

Sign up for the workshops here.

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