Oppressive summertime heat claims more lives than all other weather-related disasters combined, including tornadoes and hurricanes. From 1999 to 2003, the Center for Disease Control reported 3,442 deaths resulting from exposure to extreme heat.
"Heat is a stealth killer," says Dr. Scott Sheridan, Kent State associate professor in geography.
Funded by the Environmental Protection Agency, Sheridan recently conducted a study on how effectively heat warning systems have been implemented in four cities, including Dayton, Ohio, Philadelphia, Phoenix, and Toronto, Ontario. Specifically targeting residents 65 and older, Sheridan found that almost 90 percent were aware a heat warning was issued, but only half took action.