This summer has broken temperature records across New England. June 2021 was the hottest on record in Boston and the second hottest on record in Worcester. In Boston, June had 9 days over 90 degrees and on June 30th, the temperature was over 100 degrees. The last time temperatures were this high in June was in 1952. New England is one of the fastest warming regions in the country, due to human-caused climate change, with average temperatures increasing about 2 degrees from 1895-2011. (1)
In 2021, NOAA updated its New Climate Normals. (Courtesy NOAA)
Why does this matter?
Extreme heat can be dangerous, even deadly. Extreme heat is defined as a period of high heat and humidity with temperatures above 90 degrees for at least two to three days. In extreme heat, your body works extra hard to maintain a normal temperature.
Extreme heat events can trigger a variety of heat stress conditions, such as heat stroke. Heat stroke is the most serious heat-related disorder. It occurs when the body becomes unable to control its temperature. Body temperature rises rapidly, the sweating mechanism fails, and the body cannot cool down. This condition can cause death or permanent disability if emergency treatment is not given.
Higher temperatures and respiratory problems are also linked. One reason is because higher temperatures contribute to the build-up of harmful air pollutants.
Extreme heat events result in increased hospital admissions for heat- related illness, such as heat stroke, cardiovascular and respiratory disorders. In fact, extreme heat is responsible for the highest number of annual deaths among all weather-related hazards.
Not all populations are impacted equally. Small children, the elderly, and certain other groups including people with chronic diseases, low-income populations, and outdoor workers have higher risk for heat-related illness.
How can you stay cool and safe during extreme heat?
There are many ways you can stay cool and safe during a heat wave: stay inside during the hottest part of the day, stay in shady areas when possible, turn on fans or air conditioning inside, drink lots of water (see below for more ideas).
One additional way you might not have thought of to keep your your home cool during waves of extreme heat is by getting a no-cost Home Energy Assessment, which will help you take energy-saving measures that will help you stay cool during the heat and will help you save money on your bills.
When you sign up for a no-cost Home Energy Assessment, you may be eligible to receive many benefits such as:
We can help you sign up for a no-cost Home Energy Assessment today, whether you rent or own your home/unit! Our mission is to help residents save energy and money, while making communities more sustainable and fighting climate change.
Need more tips to stay cool?
We are partnering with Codman Square Neighborhood Development Corporation, Groundwork Lawrence, the Metropolitan Area Planning Commission and the Barr Foundation to help residents stay cool. Here are more ways to stay cool and be part of the movement to address extreme heat:
Live in Lawrence or Haverhill?
We are partnered with Groundwork Lawrence to help residents access free trees to increase the urban tree canopy. Trees provide shade, keeping a community cooler in the summer. Trees also block the wind in the winter, helping keep communities warmer in the cold season! Find out if you are eligible for a free tree from our partners at Groundwork Lawrence.
Live in Boston?
Our partners at Codman Square Neighborhood Development Corporation are collecting surveys from the community to understand how residents deal with extreme heat. This will help them understand what support might be needed in the future. Join the movement and fill out the survey to bring more resources to protect your community from extreme heat!
CSNDC EXTREME HEAT SURVEY
No matter where you live...
We want to help you stay cool! Check out the tips below to stay safe in the heat:
Need more resources to stay cool in the extreme heat? Have ideas to share?
Follow us on social media for more tips and details about how a Home Energy Assessment can help you stay cool. Or, if you have ideas for other resources we should share, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We'd love to hear from you!
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All In Energy is a 501(c)3 nonprofit with a mission to advance an inclusive clean energy economy. We bring energy efficiency and renewable energy to underserved communities, while increasing job opportunities for diverse talent in the clean energy industry.