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White House launches a website to help people cope with extreme heat

·Reporter
·1-min read
REUTERS/Bridget Bennett

President Biden's administration is backing up its funding for heat disaster prevention with a website to keep people informed. Fast Company notes the White House has launched a Heat.gov website to help the public and authorities understand the dangers of extreme heat and reduce the health risks. The 11-agency collaboration offers maps for current and expected temperature spikes across the US, prevention guidance and data-driven tools.

Among the resources are a CDC-made Heat & Health Tracker that shows both historic and predicted trends. You'll see how much hotter your area has become over the decades, for instance. Other tools help you understand the effects of extreme heat on vulnerable groups, or aid communities seeking funds for city heat maps. The Biden administration has already been using the data to guide $50 billion in federal spending, White House climate advisor David Hayes said.

The Heat.gov debut comes just as the US (and many other parts of the world) grapples with particularly severe heat waves, and is part of a larger strategy to deal with the realities of climate change. Temperatures are expected to keep climbing, and this could help planners mitigate the dangers. In his most recent initiatives, President Biden sent $2.3 billion to FEMA for climate-related disaster "resilience," expanded low-income energy help to include efficient air conditioning and proposed wind farms in the Gulf of Mexico.

The website is also consolation of sorts. The Supreme Court recently curbed the Environmental Protection Agency's ability to enforce the Clean Air Act. West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin also thwarted efforts to include climate change measures in a federal spending bill. While Heat.gov won't compensate for those losses, it potentially draws more attention to climate issues.

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