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  • Writer's picturejeannettesutton

It's time to get serious about excessive heat messaging.


WEAs have the power to reach people without requiring them to opt-in. Use this tool to deliver content that is meaningful and actionable, especially in slow-moving and pervasive threat environments.


Heat domes, heat bursts, heat advisories, heat indices, heat warnings... they all communicate one key thing: it's hot out there and it's not safe. But, we can do more. Including protective actions to keep people safe will be useful for those who have the means and resources to take the recommended precautions. But what about our most vulnerable neighbors who may be fragile, have limited means, and need a helping hand? Research conducted nearly 20 years ago during the 1995 Chicago Heatwave is still relevant today. Those who are the most vulnerable are often cut off from community, lack resources and access, and need more than a hashtag for assistance. Persons who are aging and alone need clear communication about what help is available and how to get there. Identifying cooling centers and shelters can be a life saver! Including a phone number for persons to call to get assistance, a webpage linked to additional resources, or even at "text to" number to get updates or be added to a list are all strategies that can be easily included in a WEA message. Let's face it: excessive heat is not going away. Using the WEA bullhorn can help to reach those most in need. Use it correctly so that you can KEEP on reaching those people in the future.

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