In the Hot Seat: Saving Lives from Extreme Heat in Washington State
Extremely hot weather is more than just uncomfortable — it can be dangerous and even deadly. In 2021, more than 400 people in Washington died from direct and indirect heat-related causes during a week-long extreme heat event. Many more people suffered from heat-related illnesses, and the event contributed to significant economic hardship.
Enough is already known about the risks of extreme heat, and potential solutions, to take action that will save the lives of Washingtonians when the next extreme heat event occurs. In the Hot Seat: Saving Lives from Extreme Heat in Washington State describes the problem of extreme heat and outlines specific, actionable guidance for short-term emergency response and long-term risk reduction. It addresses the following questions:
- What are the impacts of extreme heat?
- Are certain individuals and communities at greater risk?
- How is risk changing in the future?
- Who is involved in preventing heat-related illnesses and death?
- What actions can we take to prevent illness and death during extreme heat events?
From creating culturally-specific cooling centers, to increasing tree canopy and shade in certain urban areas, to improving protections for workers, the report highlights roles state and local governments, elected officials, community- and faith-based organizations and others can play in reducing the health impacts of heat exposure and saving lives from extreme heat.