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Public Health Preparedness for Extreme Heat Events

Hess, J.J.; Errett, N.A.; McGregor, G.; Isaksen, T.B.; Wettstein, Z.S.; Wheat, S.K.; Ebi, K.

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J.J. Hess

N.A. Errett

T.B. Isaksen

Z.S. Wettstein

S.K. Wheat

K. Ebi


Heat is a dangerous hazard that causes acute heat illness, chronic disease exacerbations, adverse pregnancy outcomes, and a range of injuries. Risks are highest during extreme heat events (EHEs), which challenge the capacity of health systems and other critical infrastructure. EHEs are becoming more frequent and severe, and climate change is driving an increasing proportion of heat-related mortality, necessitating more investment in health protection. Climate-resilient health systems are better positioned for EHEs, and EHE preparedness is a form of disaster risk reduction. Preparedness activities commonly take the form of heat action plans (HAPs), with many examples at various administrative scales. HAP activities can be divided into primary prevention, most important in the pre-event phase; secondary prevention, key to risk reduction early in an EHE; and tertiary prevention, important later in the event phase. After action reports and other post-event evaluation activities are central to adaptive management of this climate-sensitive hazard.


Hess, J., Errett, N., McGregor, G., Isaksen, T., Wettstein, Z., Wheat, S., & Ebi, K. (2023). Public Health Preparedness for Extreme Heat Events. Annual Review of Public Health, 44, 301-321.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 3, 2022
Online Publication Date Jan 6, 2023
Publication Date 2023-04
Deposit Date Dec 19, 2022
Publicly Available Date Jun 29, 2023
Journal Annual Reviews Public Health
Print ISSN 0163-7525
Electronic ISSN 1545-2093
Publisher Annual Reviews
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 44
Pages 301-321


Published Journal Article (404 Kb)

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Copyright Statement
Copyright © 2023 by the author(s). This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. See credit lines of images or other third-party material in this article for license information

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