Heatwaves are becoming worse and more frequent in North America, and heat is no joke.
Heat is one of the most dangerous weather-related events and some public health officials have proposed naming heatwaves like hurricanes to raise awareness of how dangerous they really are, especially to those who are older, those with weaker immune systems, and outdoor workers.
Public health officials are also considering having “heat days” for workers and students. Much like snow days, these heat days would allow workers and students to stay home on days when temperatures and humidity are too much to reasonably handle.
Jan Carney, a professor with the University of Vermont, adds, “In addition to heat watches and warnings/advisories, maybe we need to ramp this up even further. We have major alerts for crime, air pollution, and severe weather—should we add extreme heat to the list?”
Ultimately, the experts say communities will need to come together to make a decision.