TJ12.4 Making Cities Cool Again: Heat Hazard Mitigation Strategies in Hazard Mitigation Plans from the Interior US

Tuesday, 8 January 2019: 3:45 PM
North 224A (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Emily K Willis, University of Utah, Salt Lake, UT

More people in the US are killed per year by heat waves than any other weather-related disaster. Extreme heat events are also expected to increase in severity and frequency due to climate change. Because of the urban heat island effect that causes cities to warm faster than surrounding rural areas, urban areas are at greater risk of experiencing devastating heat waves. By changing the way land is used, cities and urban counties can reduce the threat of heat waves.

There are three categories of land use-related heat wave mitigation strategies: cool materials, greening, and energy efficiency strategies. I analyzed 188 county hazard mitigation plans from interior states in the US to determine if jurisdictions are using land use-related heat wave mitigation strategies. I found that although most hazard mitigation plans include a section focused on heat hazards, few plans include land use mitigation strategies focused on mitigating heat.

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