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Miami-Dade County releases heat vulnerability assessment and interactive story map

MIAMI ( June 06, 2022 )

Following Mayor Daniella Levine Cava’s announcement of the launch of Miami-Dade County’s first-ever official “Heat Season” awareness campaign at the Arsht-Rock Global Resilience Forum in April, the County has released a Heat Vulnerability Assessment Report and an interactive online story map that illustrates areas of high vulnerability to the risks of extreme heat.

Miami-Dade County is an international leader in addressing climate change and has been at the forefront of creating programs and policies to address extreme heat. In April of 2021, Mayor Levine Cava appointed Jane Gilbert as the world’s first Chief Heat Officer to lead the Miami-Dade County Climate and Heat Health Task Force and spearhead work to address the impacts of extreme heat. Since its inception, the Climate and Heat Health Task Force has worked to prioritize short-term actions and to create a framework for prioritizing future actions and for monitoring progress around extreme heat.

“I’m proud that Miami-Dade is leading the way in this life-saving work,” said Mayor  Levine Cava. “We’ve learned so much by engaging everyone, from healthcare professionals, outdoor workers and scientists to social workers, school kids, activists, and environmentalists. This truly is a community-wide effort, which is the reason why we’ve already been so successful in our first year of working on addressing extreme heat. With this data, we now know exactly where to focus our work and where we need to double down on our community outreach.”

To provide input for the planning process, the Task Force contracted Dr. Chris Uejio, associate professor at Florida State University, whose research focuses on how the physical environment impacts human health and well-being to prepare two reports on extreme heat. The first identified which areas of the County and segments of the population are most vulnerable to heat-related illnesses. The second report estimated the number of excess deaths that occur during times of extreme heat and correlated excess deaths with different extreme heat conditions. Using Dr. Uejio’s data, the County has formed a better understanding of which neighborhoods and populations are most at risk

The reports highlight that the locations with the highest heat-related illness rates had hotter urban heat islands, and higher proportions of people who were outdoor workers, indigenous, living in poverty or mobile homes, and also living in households with children. 

The reports also indicated that extreme heat contributes to approximately 34 deaths annually and that "everyday" summer conditions instead of rare heatwaves increase the risk of a heat related death.

“Heat related deaths are largely preventable,” said Miami-Dade County Chief Heat Officer Jane Gilbert.  “That’s why our community is investing in an extensive public information campaign focusing on “Heat Season” to explain the risks of extreme heat and let people know what they can do to protect themselves. The Task Force is also working on a Climate and Heat Health Action plan to address the policies and initiatives needed to mitigate urban heat islands, protect outdoor workers and assist people in reducing their energy burdens.” The Task Force Report will be available this Summer.  

The findings of these reports, visual maps of heat vulnerability and more information can be accessed at