Can't take the heat - episode 1
Can’t Take the Heat
The podcast series where we explore the biggest issues, where the climate meets people.
Why Heatwaves are the Silent Killers of Disasters
In our pilot episode we are discussing heatwaves! Heatwaves are surprisingly deadly, killing thousands of people every year... that we know of. There are probably many more deaths that aren’t counted, especially in places where its hot all year.
The science is also clear: heatwaves are already getting worse because of climate change. But, it’s not all doom and gloom. We can forecast heatwaves days or weeks in advance and take action to reduce the risk of death or illness. Most importantly such actions are simple and cost-effective so we can start today!
Here are three things you can do right now to save lives during a heatwave:
- Plan your day around the heat. Reschedule outdoor activities or work early in the morning or late in the evening. Take water with you if you need to go outside during the afternoon, and wear lightweight and light-coloured clothing.
- Call the older people (more than 65 years) that you know (like your neighbours and grandparents) and make sure they have a way to cool down, especially at night. Remind them to drink lots of water throughout the day, even if they don’t feel thirsty.
- Recognise the signs of heat illness in yourself and others! This is a handy graphic on what to look out for.
This podcast is written, edited and hosted by Roop Singh. Voices featured in this podcast include Julie Arrighi, Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre and American Red Cross, Dr. Erin Coughlan de Perez, Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre, Dr. Vincent Luo, Science for Humanitarian Emergencies and Resilience (SHEAR) and the University of Reading, and Bithika Biwas, World Food Programme.
You can listen to the episode by clicking the “play” button in the audio player above or downloading it through your favorite podcast platform. If you are new to podcasts, learn how to listen.
References and Supplemental Materials:
- City Heatwave Guide
- City Heatwave Guide for Red Cross and Red Crescent Branches
- Appendix on managing extreme heat and COVID-19
- Vanessa Abrahamson, Johanna Wolf, Irene Lorenzoni, Bridget Fenn, Sari Kovats, Paul Wilkinson, W. Neil Adger, Rosalind Raine, Perceptions of heatwave risks to health: interview-based study of older people in London and Norwich, UK, Journal of Public Health, Volume 31, Issue 1, March 2009, Pages 119–126, https://doi.org/10.1093/pubmed/fdn102
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