New study determines whether people react to heat advisories

Jul 18, 2006

Oppressive summertime heat claims more lives than all other weather-related disasters combined, including tornadoes and hurricanes. During 2003, a heat wave across Europe killed as many as 40,000 people.

"Heat is a stealth killer," says Dr. Scott Sheridan, Kent State associate professor in geography. Funded by the Environmental Protection Agency, Sheridan recently finished conducting a study on how effectively heat warning systems have been implemented in four cities for which he developed heat warning systems, including Dayton, Ohio, Philadelphia, Phoenix, and Toronto, Ontario.

Sheridan surveyed residents 65 and older in each of the four regions about their perception of heat vulnerability, their knowledge of options for dealing with the weather, and why they did or did not take action to avoid negative health outcomes during the heat emergency.

He found was that almost 90 percent were aware a heat warning was issued, but only about half of the people did anything about it. Many thought messages were targeting the elderly and did not view themselves as part of that group. For those who did change their behavior on hot days, it was not necessarily due to heat warnings issued by weather forecasters but instead based on their own perceptions of heat.

Source: Kent State University

Explore further: Researchers test fecal transplantation to treat ulcerative colitis

Related Stories

Bringing NASA satellite data down to Earth

May 06, 2015

NASA didn't have Wicked Joe Coffee Roasting Company in mind as the agency launched hundreds of instruments into Earth orbit over the years. But thanks to a NASA website that tailors satellite-derived data ...

Recommended for you

FDA clears drug for leading form of cystic fibrosis

45 minutes ago

Federal health officials have approved a new combination drug for the most common form of cystic fibrosis, the debilitating inherited disease that causes internal mucus buildup, lung infections and early death.

Genetic testing in kids is fraught with complications

58 minutes ago

A woman coping with the burden of familial breast cancer can't help but wonder if her young daughter will suffer the same fate. Has she inherited the same disease-causing mutation? Is it best to be prepared ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.