New tools from NOAA and CDC show people their risk from heat as another hot summer looms

Federal officials on Monday unveiled a set of tools aimed at helping protect people in the United States from the dangers of extreme heat.

The resources, developed jointly by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, include new color-coded heat forecasts and a public dashboard showing local heat risks and air quality levels. New guidelines were also released for clinicians, instructing them on how to educate patients about coping with heat waves and the health impacts of extreme heat.

The tools are part of a broader government initiative to better prepare the country for heat waves, which are increasing in frequency, intensity and duration as a result of climate change. Officials said these efforts are geared at raising awareness among those who are particularly vulnerable to extreme heat, including seniors, pregnant women, people with asthma, young children and individuals with certain underlying health conditions.

Among the new tools is an experimental system from NOAA called “HeatRisk,” which provides a seven-day heat forecast for locations across the contiguous U.S. A numerical and color-coded scale shows users the potential dangers of heat and humidity in their area.

That resource is designed to be used in conjunction with a new dashboard from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which allows people to enter their zip code to see real-time and forecasted heat risks and air quality information.

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