TheVoiceOfJoyce We’re failing our citizens. Our country is warming and few cities have dedicated heat emergency plans. Who’s planting trees? Using Covid Emergency Funds to upgrade school’s HVAC SYSTEMS? El Niño will hit the poorest among us most. Phoenix can account for 500 deaths do to the heat. Three decades of predictions are coming true now. It’s time to declare a Climate Emergency.

So far at least, no new dedicated heat officers, who also coordinate longer-term plans to cool down cities, have been announced. The Biden administration has resisted calls to declare a climate emergency or appoint a federal heat chief, but in July directed the Department of Labor to issue a hazard alert for workplaces such as farms and construction sites, where workers face dangerous heat exposure.

A growing number of cities and towns are working to create or update heat response protocols, but tackling heat deaths – which are preventable – is complex and planning for the next heat wave is not enough, according to Bharat Venket, the director of the UCLA heat lab.

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