Los Angeles to launch ‘extreme heat campaign’ Friday, says city’s first heat officer

Author

Heidi de Marco

Source(s)
Los Angeles Times

[...]

Segura, who serves as director of Los Angeles’ Climate Emergency Mobilization Office in the Department of Public Works, was given a second title this month: chief heat officer, the city’s first. She joins a number of heat officers around the world as cities from Athens, Greece, to Santiago, Chile, begin to coordinate a better response to extreme heat and develop sustainable cooling strategies. Phoenix and Miami are the only other U.S. cities with heat officers.

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Very high temperatures can cause cramps, heat stroke, and heat exhaustion. Extreme heat contributed to the deaths of around 12,000 people in the U.S. each year from 2010 to 2020, according to a study by the University of Washington. Those figures are likely to rise. A Times investigation last year found that California greatly undercounts the number of residents who die in heat waves.

[...]

“Neighborhoods in South Los Angeles send an additional 20 to 30 people to the emergency room on heat days compared to 2 additional people from wealthier neighborhoods,” said Dr. David Eisenman, director of the Center for Public Health and Disasters at UCLA. Eisenman will work with Segura to identify climate-vulnerable communities.

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