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 Extreme Heat Events Summary (PDF) for an overview.
Extreme Heat Tips
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 Vulnerability in Minnesota Assessment Tool
Extreme heat events in Minnesota are already occurring and are expected to become more common, more severe, and longer lasting as our climate changes. Understanding local vulnerabilities and taking appropriate environmental and community measures to ensure that people can stay cool and hydrated during an extreme heat event are instrumental to preventing heat-related health impacts.
To support this process, the Minnesota Climate & Health Program in collaboration with the University of Minnesota U-Spatial developed an online Heat Vulnerability in Minnesota Tool. The Tool helps visualize datasets that can contribute to a community’s vulnerability and serves as a launching point for streamlining local solutions to protect health and increase climate resilience.
The Minnesota Climate & Health Program also partnered with St. Paul – Ramsey County Public Health to utilize the Tool and create a model Assessment of Heat Vulnerability in Ramsey County. The model assessment serves as an example of how to utilize data from the Tool to understand the people and places that are more susceptible to negative health impacts of extreme heat.
Extreme Heat Toolkit
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)
Populations at Risk
The populations in Minnesota most at-risk for negative health outcomes from extreme heat include, but are not limited to:
- Children under 5, people age 15-34, and adults age 65+, especially those living alone
- People with chronic medical conditions, like heart disease or high blood pressure
- People of all ages who are doing extended or heavy physical activity, like playing sports or working outdoors
- People living at or below the poverty line
- People experiencing homelessness
Health, Climate Change, and Extreme Heat Training Module
The Minnesota 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.
Missed the session? View the webinar recording above or download a copy of the 2017 Health, Climate Change, & Extreme Heat Training Slides (PPT).
- Heat Island Effect, Environmental Protection Agency
- Heat Safety Tips and Resources, National Weather Service
- Heat Vulnerability in Minnesota and Wisconsin, Minnesota Environmental Public Health Tracking
- Hennepin County Cooling Center
- Killer a Heat in the United States, Union of Concerned Scientists
- Minnesota State Climatology Office
- Ramsey County Cooling Center
- Twin Cities Forecast Office, National Weather Service