- US officials are on maximum alert for extreme heat wave.
- Extreme weather-related heat would cause more than a thousand deaths a year.
- President Joe Biden’s Administration is taking action to prevent fatalities from extreme heat.
Be very careful with high temperatures. US officials are on high alert after extreme heat was found to be the leading climate-related cause of death, causing up to 1,300 deaths a year, the newspaper The Sun reported on Monday.
President Joe Biden is mobilizing an interagency effort to deal with the effects of extreme heat throughout the country, the White House announced on Monday, September 20, according to the newspaper’s report.
Alarms go off for extreme heat
In a fact sheet issued by the administration of President Joe Biden, it was noted that record high temperatures during the summer and the most intense and frequent heat waves were due to threatening climate change.
“My administration will not let Americans face this threat alone. Today, I am mobilizing a government-wide effort to protect workers, children, seniors and communities at risk from extreme heat, ”Biden said in the statement.
Extreme heat kills hundreds each year in the US
On the matter, the Environmental Protection Agency of the United States (EPA for its acronym in English) stated: “Some statistical approaches estimate that more than 1,300 deaths per year in the United States are due to extreme heat.”
In June, the Northwest suffered an unprecedented heat wave that scientists say would have been “practically impossible” without human-caused climate change. The extreme heat wave killed hundreds of people in Oregon, Washington and British Columbia, The Sun report detailed.
Hispanics among the most affected
A heat wave also exacerbated the impact of Hurricane Ida when it struck Louisiana last month. However, it has been found that the consequences of extreme heat do not affect all communities equally, with some facing more difficulties than others.
Findings from a University of California, San Diego study revealed that low-income neighborhoods and communities with high Black, Hispanic, and Asian populations experienced significantly more heat than wealthier, predominantly white areas.
Impact on the most vulnerable
A Redfin study also found that black homeowners are nearly five times more likely than white families to own homes in these historically red-marked communities because of the risks they must deal with.
The White House fact sheet also emphasized the impact extreme heat has on vulnerable Americans, it also reported. CNN. “Millions of American workers are exposed to heat in their workplaces, and essential jobs with high levels of exposure are disproportionately occupied by black and brown workers,” he said.
Biden deploys multi-agency efforts to attack extreme heat
The White House letter added: “Heat also poses greater risks in urban centers and for children, the elderly, economically disadvantaged groups and those with underlying health problems.”
In the statement, Biden noted: “The Department of Labor, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Environmental Protection Agency and other agencies will work together to help ensure that the American people have safe and healthy working conditions, provide assistance in cooling homes and neighborhoods and coordinating with state and local officials to strengthen their resilience and address the impacts of this threat. ”
Measures to protect workers
The Department of Labor is taking steps to protect workers facing occupational heat exposure by establishing and enforcing standards through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
OSHA will launch “a rulemaking process to develop a workplace heat standard,” implement a compliance initiative, develop an inspection program and form a task force, The Sun report detailed.
Biden’s help to beat extreme heat
The Biden administration has also said it will step up efforts to provide cooling assistance to the homes of vulnerable Americans. The Department of Health and Human Services is issuing guidance on flexibility for federal funding of programs to address heating issues, providing help with the purchase of air conditioning units and assistance with electric bills.
The EPA will also use funds from the Covid relief package approved earlier this year so that schools can be used as cooling centers during the season when extreme heat rages in the United States.
Million-dollar fund to help families in Illinois, including undocumented immigrants
Illinois Gov. Jay Robert Pritzker announced Monday an expanded services fund to help the state’s most vulnerable residents with rent, utilities, food and other household expenses, regardless of immigration status.
The president announced $ 327 million for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and the Community Services Grant Program (CSBG), reported the Efe news agency .
Undocumented in Illinois will get help
With the support of the American Rescue Plan Act and increased eligibility provisions from the state of Illinois, residents will have access to more attendance than ever before with utilities, as well as greater availability of funds per household.
The state will use $ 209 million from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) for the fund, expanding relief to Illinois families struggling to pay their bills as a result of the covid pandemic. -19, according to Los Angeles Times.
More help than ever
“We are offering residents in need more access than ever to vital social security programs that can prevent them from falling behind on payments, going into debt or jeopardizing their ability to return to work,” Pritzker said.
Overall, he added, “this $ 327 million investment represents a $ 52 million increase over last year’s programs; it is a historical investment to face a historical moment ”. To respond to the greater need due to the pandemic, Illinois modified the requirements to increase the threshold of allowable income and expand the eligibility of households, regardless of the immigration status of their members. For more details visit this note.
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