St. Louis Leads Nation in Heat-Related Death Prevention

July 26, 2011
The city of St. Louis, Missouri, has taken the national lead with a campaign to prevent heat-related deaths in the sweltering days of the recent heat wave. According to Fox 2 Now, St. Louis has spent over 30 years working to reduce heat-related deaths, after 113 people were killed during the record heat wave of 1980.
Referring to a Missouri law requiring heat-related illnesses to be reported, which was passed following the 1980 crisis, acting City Health Director Pamela Walker stated, “We’re still the only state in the country that requires that. Someplace like New York could have lots of people dying of the heat on a day like today, but they won’t know, because it’s not reportable.”
Public health officials went out into communities across the city during the hottest part of the day Friday to check on elderly residents who hadn’t answered earlier phone calls the city made to check on their well-being. Workers found 46 elderly citizens in over-heated living conditions, and provided them with cooling solutions, such as air conditioner offers and city-run heat relief centers. The city has been setting up water and cooling stations at public events as well.
The National Weather Service offers several tips to stay cool through the heat wave:

  • Reduce activity during the heat of the day
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Avoid the sun
  • Eat less meats and protein, as it increases metabolic heat and water loss

The St. Louis Personal Injury Attorneys with Cofman Townsley reminds everyone to stay cool during the heat wave, and encourages citizens to contact local assistance programs if a cool place is otherwise unavailable.