AbstractExtreme heat is the leading cause of weather-related mortality in the United States suggesting the necessity for better understanding population vulnerability to extreme heat. The work presented here is part of a larger study examining vulnerability to extreme heat in current and future climates (SIMMER – System for Integrated Modeling of Metropolitan Extreme heat Risk) and was undertaken to assess Houston, Texas residents’ adaptive capacity to extreme heat. A comprehensive, semi-structured survey was conducted by telephone at 901 households in Houston in 2011. Frequency and logistic regression analyses were conducted. Results show that that 20% of the survey respondents reported heat-related symptoms in the summer of 2011 despite widespread air conditioning availability throughout Houston. Of those reporting heat-related symptoms experienced in the home (n=56), the majority could not afford to use air conditioning because of the high cost of electricity. This research highlights the efficacy of community-based surveys to better understand adaptive capacity at the household level; this survey contextualizes population vulnerability and identifies more targeted intervention strategies and adaptation actions.
Weather, Climate, and Society – American Meteorological Society
Published: Aug 9, 2017
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