Wildfire Preparedness: A Heatwave Safety Guide

Wildfire Preparedness: A Heatwave Safety GuideWith increasing frequency, it happens each year – scorching temperatures exceed regional norms, enduring for days or even months at a time. These exceptionally high, extended temperatures lead to power outage, health risk, and personal loss in the form of wildfires – a natural disaster that puts family members, property, communities and the environment at risk.

Despite preparation and dedication, government agencies and emergency services find themselves struggling to allocate resources to defeat extreme-heat events. However, you have a part to play in protecting your own life, the lives of those you love, your home and possibly even your neighbors during wildfires.

This guide will help you prepare for extreme heat and the devastation that often follows in its wake. Learn how to prepare, survive and minimize the damaging effects of wildfires.

Preparing for Heatwaves

It’s not your imagination. The number, duration and severity of heatwaves – unusually high periods of atmosphere-related heat stress – have significantly increased in recent decades. The Environmental Protection Agency has confirmed that “unusually hot summer temperatures have become more frequent across the contiguous 48 states” and expects “extreme heat events (heat waves)…to become longer, more frequent, and more intense.”

Quality of Life

Although heatwaves are technically meteorological events, they have a very human impact. The EPA cites heatwaves as the “leading weather-related killer in the United States;” their fatalities outstrip even those from severe cold, lightning, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and earthquakes. In 2015 alone, India, Pakistan, parts of the Middle East, Western Europe as far north as the Netherlands, Canada and even the United States all suffered prolonged periods of extreme heat, record temperatures and the seemingly inevitable accompanying human fatalities.

North America

North American summers are hot, with heatwaves settling over regions of the United States and even Canada. Historically, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cumulative averages from 1999 to 2009 indicate that about 660 Americans succumb yearly to the demands of summer heat. However, researchers from Emory University focusing on the typically cooler, moister East Coast anticipate that those numbers are likely to increase. From 2002 to 2004, 187 people in just the eastern third of the United States succumbed to heat waves. With heatwave frequency expected to at least triple, East Coast numbers could exceed 2,000 within the next four decades. Meanwhile, a study from the National Center for Atmospheric Research also expects heatwaves and the resulting fatalities to increase worldwide, with the most severe affecting the U.S. West and South.

Continue reading Wildfire Preparedness: A Heatwave Safety Guide at Ammo.com.

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