Extreme Heat Events
Extreme heat events in Minnesota are already occurring and are expected to become more common, more severe, and longer-lasting as our climate changes. Read through our NEW Extreme Heat Events Summary (PDF) for an overview.
Extreme heat events in Minnesota are already occurring and expected to become more common, more severe, and longer-lasting as our climate changes. The following MDH tips sheet, available in multiple languages, identifies steps you can take to prevent heat-related illnesses - and how to help your families, friends, and neighbors stay safe too.
- Extreme Heat Tips Sheet - English (PDF)
- Extreme Heat Tips Sheet - Español (Spanish) (PDF)
- Extreme Heat Tips Sheet - Hmoob Dawb (Hmong) (PDF)
- Extreme Heat Tips Sheet - Karen (PDF)
- Extreme Heat Tips Sheet - Oromoo (Oromo) (PDF)
- Extreme Heat Tips Sheet - Soomaali (Somali) (PDF)
Heat is a significant threat to public health in the United States. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), heat has claimed more lives on average over the past ten years than any other severe weather event. (NOAA, National Hazard Statistics) By the end of the 21st Century, heat-related deaths could more than triple in the U.S. (NRDC, Killer Summer Heat: Projected Death Toll from Rising Temperatures in America Due to Climate Change)
- To view data on heat-related illnesses and deaths in Minnesota, see MN Public Health Data Access
The purpose of the MDH Extreme Heat Toolkit is to provide information to local governments and public health professionals about preparing for and responding to extreme heat events. Extreme heat events can cause a number of health-related problems, including an increase in deaths (mortality) and nonfatal outcomes (morbidity). Yet, almost all of the negative health outcomes from extreme heat can be prevented by taking appropriate measures to ensure that the public stays cool and hydrated during an extreme heat event.
Download the entire Toolkit (PDF), excluding appendices. See below for appendices.
- Introduction to Extreme Heat Events (PDF)
- Why care about extreme heat events
- Minnesota is warming
- Defining extreme heat events
- Extreme Heat Events and Public Health (PDF)
- Health issues caused by extreme heat
- Characteristics that increase the risk of heat-related illnesses
- Preparing Minnesota for Extreme Heat Events (PDF)
- Key steps for planning for and responding to extreme heat events
- Developing a heat response plan
- Additional strategies to prevent heat-related illnesses
- Mitigation/adaptation to extreme heat
- Training and resources for extreme heat
- Appendix A: Heat index (PDF)
- Appendix B: Categories of medicines that may increase the risk of heat-related illnesses (PDF)
- Appendix C: Map of Minnesota land cover (PDF)
- Appendix D: Draft language for heat response plan/excessive heat annex (PDF)
- Appendix E: Extreme heat tip sheet for individuals (PDF)
- Appendix F: Data sources for characteristics that increase the risk of heat-related illnesses (PDF)
- Appendix G: Mapping 101: Joining census data for beginning GIS users (PDF)
- Appendix H: Minneapolis case study maps (PDF)
- Appendix I: Olmsted County Public Health Services case study (PDF)
- Appendix J: Sample media release (PDF)
- Appendix K: Other important websites and resources (PDF)
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The populations in Minnesota most at-risk for adverse health outcomes from extreme heat include, but are not limited to the following:
- Children less than 5 years-old
- Elderly 65 years old and older
- Elderly living alone
- Economically constrained:
- Population at or below poverty level
- Population at or below 200% of poverty level
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The MDH Climate & Health Program presented a Health, Climate Change & Extreme Heat Events Training Webinar on Wednesday, August 16, 2017. As part of a six-part series focused on health and climate change issues in Minnesota, this webinar and training module covers Minnesota’s warming climate, health issues caused by extreme heat events, and strategies to prevent heat-related illnesses. The training module can be referenced as a general education tool or as a "train the trainer" module for local public health professionals.
NEW Missed the session? View the webinar recording (coming soon!) or download a copy of the 2017 Health, Climate Change, & Extreme Heat Training Slides (PPT).
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