Vermont Department of Health: As the Weather Heats Up, a New Map Shows You Where to Cool Down
As the Weather Heats Up, a New Map Shows You Where to Cool Down
BURLINGTON, VT – Heat-related illnesses in Vermont become much more common when temperatures warm to the mid-80s and above, especially on sunny and humid days. With summer kicking into high gear and the thermometer moving up, the Department of Health has unveiled a new interactive map where Vermonters can find nearby places to cool off during hot weather.
“As we begin our annual adjustment to working and being outside in warmer weather, it’s important to know where you can go to cool off and stay safe,” said Jared Ulmer, climate and health program manager for the Health Department. “Vermonters can use this new map to find air-conditioned buildings, beaches, pools and other cooling locations available to the public.”
Warm temperatures, and especially extreme heat and humidity, can quickly lead to sometimes serious heat-related illness and even death. Muscle cramps, heavy sweating, nausea, headache, or dizziness may all indicate onset of heat illness.
Ulmer encourages everyone to be aware of the weather forecast and to know how to stay safe. “You’d be surprised at how fast your body can be affected by the temperature,” said Ulmer. “Take frequent rest breaks, drink plenty of fluids, and spend time in the shade or a cooled room.” Certain people are at higher risk of heat-related illness. Those who work or exercise outdoors, older adults and young children, people with obesity or other chronic medical conditions, people taking certain medications, and people using drugs or alcohol, should take extra precautions.
The cooling sites map and more tips on how to stay safe in the heat are at healthvermont.gov/climate/heat.
The National Weather Service issues a heat advisory, watch, or warning when the forecasted heat index is dangerously high. The Heat index is a measure of how hot it feels when relative humidity is factored in with the actual air temperature.
Ulmer said that being aware of these resources is increasingly important due to climate change. "Heat waves are becoming more intense and frequent. Over 1,400 people died last summer during an unprecedented heat wave in the northwestern United States and western Canada, an area with a similar summer climate to Vermont.”
To help prepare for similar heat emergencies, the Health Department and Vermont’s Regional Planning Commissions are partnering with communities to develop hot weather emergency response plans. Individuals and communities can email ClimateHealth@vermont.gov for more information. You can find hot weather planning guidance for communities at healthvermont.gov/climate/heat#prepare.
Vermont Heat Safety Resources:
- National Weather Service – weather.gov/btv
- Follow @NWSBurlington
- Vermont Department of Health – healthvermont.gov/climate/heat
- Follow @healthvermont
- Vermont Emergency Management – vem.vermont.gov
- Follow @vemvt
- Social Media: #VTHeatSafety
- National Weather Service – weather.gov/heat
- Centers for Disease Control & Prevention – cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/index.html
- Federal Emergency Management Agency – ready.gov/heat
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About the Department of Health
We have been the state's public health agency for more than 130 years, working every day to protect and promote the health of Vermonters.