Determining Risk Zones for Human Health During Heatwaves

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Wednesday, 5 February 2014: 9:15 AM
Room C213 (The Georgia World Congress Center )
Emma L. Kuster (Fagan), University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK; and K. J. Thiem, J. Voveris, J. B. Basara, H. G. Basara, and V. G. Silvis
Manuscript (10.0 MB)

Heatwaves occur throughout the world every year and have substantial impacts on human populations. Mortality and morbidity rates have been known to increase during these extreme heat events. Due to the increasing trend in urbanization and the probability of extreme heatwaves increasing in intensity and frequency, adaptation and mitigation techniques are needed now more than ever. This study examined the 2008 summer heatwave in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma to determine variability of population health risk during such events. Thus, the purpose of this project was to demonstrate health risk by mapping atmospheric and demographic attributes at community level scale using GIS. Understanding the variability of risk by community will inform public health response to extreme heat events. Census tracts were assigned a risk ranking according to four different attributes (cluster data, population density, daily maximum temperature, and daily minimum temperature). Within the cluster data, demographic information such as education, income, and age were analyzed. A final analysis included combining these factors to determine which census tracts within Oklahoma City were considered most at risk.