Though Wisconsin is notorious for frigid winters, extreme heat kills more people in the state than all other weather disasters (like tornadoes, floods, blizzards) combined. Just as the human body can freeze to death when temperatures are too cold, it can also stop functioning properly when it cannot dissipate excessive heat.
For example, at least 68 people died during an extreme heat event in 1995 in Wisconsin, when temperatures soared over 90 ºF for seven consecutive days. On the hottest days with high humidity, temperatures felt like they were over 120 ºF.
Two health professionals will be guests on a webinar called “Extreme Heat and Human Health” on Friday, May 27 at 10 AM. It’s free and open to the public. Registration is required. Register here.
- Maggie Thelen: Climate and Health Program Coordinator at the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, will talk about what’s causing an increase in the number of life-threatening hot days, how extreme heat events affect our health, who is especially vulnerable to extreme heat, and what people can do to protect themselves and others.
- Liz Szot: RN, Health Officer and Public Health Administrator at Ashland County’s Human Health and Services department, will describe what’s happening in our region and what the department does to protect its residents.
- Wisconsin Department of Health Services factsheet about climate changes and human health impacts
- Wisconsin Department of Health Services web page for heat impacts and actions, including a short video on how to protect yourself and others.
- Ashland County has been identified as a county with a “Moderately High” Heat Vulnerability Index.
- What is a Heat Vulnerability Index and why is it important?
The program will be recorded and posted on the Ashland County UW Extension web site following the presentation.
The program is offered in partnership with UW Madison’s Division of Wisconsin-Ashland County, Wisconsin Department of Health Services, and the Ashland County Human Health and Services department.
For more information, call 715-682-7017.