Heat response plans : summary of evidence and strategies for collaboration and implementation
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      Extreme heat is a major public health concern in the United States. Temperatures are increasing across the country, with more frequent and severe heat waves in many regions. This trend is projected to continue. Exposure to heat may increase the risk of illness particularly among sensitive groups such as people who do not have access to air conditioning, older adults, young children, people working outdoors, athletes, the socially isolated, people with existing chronic conditions, and some communities of color. Health departments, their partners, and other government agencies have undertaken a variety of strategies to protect the public from high temperatures. One potential strategy is a heat response plan - a coordinated plan that describes and organizes activities to prevent heat-related morbidity and mortality in a community.

      Health departments at all levels (state, local, Tribal, and territorial) and their partners can develop and implement a response to protect their community and vulnerable populations. There is evidence that heat response plans can protect health, but mixed evidence on the effectiveness of individual components of a heat response plan and the degree of overall health protection. This document is intended to give a summary of extreme heat, the health burden of heat exposure, the impacts of climate change, and components and effectiveness of heat response plans with a focus on relevant peer-reviewed literature and existing heat response plans. Resources and examples of successful implementation and potential collaborative efforts are included.


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