Extreme heat conditions are becoming more common in the City of Cleveland, especially with the worsening impacts of climate change. It's important that we prepare.
Prolonged exposure to extreme heat conditions can be very deadly – the 1995 heat wave in Chicago, Illinois resulted in hundreds of heat-related fatalities. The City of Cleveland Office of Emergency Management, in coordination with other City agencies, has developed a plan to manage and coordinate resources and efforts to reduce the adverse impact of an extreme heat emergency.
The Heat Index Chart, seen above, identifies the dangers of high temperatures in conjunction with prevailing atmospheric conditions. A Heat Index of 105 degrees Fahrenheit may result in a declaration of an extreme heat emergency by the City of Cleveland. In the event that this environmental threshold is not established, an increase in significant heat related illnesses or incidents can also indicate the need for an extreme heat declaration.
Once an extreme weather emergency is declared, the City of Cleveland may activate its Emergency Operations Center (EOC). The Mayor’s Office of Communications will notify local media of any declarations, indicate if any “cooling centers” have been established, and provide information relating to potential hazards/illnesses caused by extreme heat. Upon request, the Department of Public Works will establish “cooling centers” in the City, as appropriate, primarily through the use of City recreation centers. Other City Departments will provide necessary resources and staff to support operations as requested.