Supporting Strengthened Federal Heat Response Resources

Adopted at the 91st Annual Meeting in 2023

  • WHEREAS, Communities across the country, including in historically cooler climates, are experiencing fatal heat events with increasing frequency; and

    WHEREAS, the impacts of increasing temperatures on public health and quality of life are in turn exacerbated by compounding risk factors including housing insecurity and behavioral health challenges; and

    WHEREAS, heat causes more deaths each year than most other natural hazards combined, yet national emergency planning and response mechanisms lack resources comparable to those dedicated to other types of extreme weather events; and

    WHEREAS, under the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) disaster declaration mechanism, heat is not included among the sixteen different incident types delineated; and

    WHEREAS, strengthening our cooling and safety resources is crucial to reducing the public health impacts of extreme heat, and cities across the country need more support,

    NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that The U.S. Conference of Mayors calls on Congress to support enabling FEMA to include extreme heat in the disaster declaration mechanism and to allocate corresponding resources to bolster public health and safety.

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