Heat Waves Are Killers

Lynn Dorman, Ph.D. // Health


August 15  

droughtEach year the earth is getting hotter and we are experiencing major heat waves and crop killing droughts.

While we hear, usually well in advance, about taking precautions for tornadoes, hurricanes and blizzards – we don't seem to get the same warnings through the media about heat waves.


Natural disasters such as hurricanes, blizzards or tornadoes might be more dramatic and attention grabbing than a heat wave, but in reality, the heat may be capable of claiming more lives than even these violent storms.

The drama of hurricanes may be great TV but the deaths from heat are greater in number and do not get as much coverage.

Maybe because heat pictures are less interesting?

And deaths from heat are not pretty?

And sadly – maybe because most heat related deaths are older poorer people?

Living alone, being poor, and being in an apartment building, hot sun on apartmentsare factors in heat related deaths.  the poor are congregated usually in the not-too-good parts of cities and no matter what is the temperature, residents do not open their windows because crime tends to enter.

Open windows are an invitation to crime. That's a sad statistic about modern cultures. And older, poorer people do not tend to use air conditioners because either they aren't supplied or they fear they won't be able to pay the high electric bill.

Please – if you have poor or elderly people living near you – do check on them.

Most towns and cities have a cooling center where they can spend the day and some may have night services.

We have overnight warming shelters for the extremely cold temperatures. We should have equivalent cooling shelters for the extremely hot weather.

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About the Author

Native of NYC who moved a lot, got several degrees, and has been a lifelong writer and reader... I am interested in many things - and I write [and teach] about them - especially the human lifespan and healthy aging

Lynn Dorman, Ph.D.