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CDC's New Heat and Health Index Released

May 31, 2024 | Anu Varma

In time for Heat Safety Awareness Day (May 31), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a new Heat and Health Index (HHI). According to the agency, the HHI “combines historic temperature data and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) data on heat-related emergency responses from the past three years, as well as data on community characteristics, including pre-existing health conditions, socio-demographic information, and characteristics of the natural and built environment, to provide a final heat and health index ranking by ZIP code, empowering local health officials, healthcare providers, city planners, and policymakers to make informed decisions to invest in localized strategies in a timely manner, reducing the likelihood of heat-related illness and death. For example, if a heat wave is coming, public health officials can use the HHI to identify ZIP codes likely to experience negative health outcomes from heat and open cooling centers in those areas to help provide immediate relief for communities.

Go to https://ephtracking.cdc.gov/heattracker/ to explore the new dashboard. Click on “Heat and Health Index” in the left navigation pane of the dashboard’s landing page to access the HHI.

For more recent heat-related tools and resources by the CDC, including guidance for clinicians, go to https://www.naccho.org/blog/articles/first-heat-forecast.


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About Anu Varma

Pronouns: She/Her

Anupama Varma is a Communications Specialist for Environmental Health at NACCHO.

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