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White House launches website as warmer temperatures hit U.S.

Extreme heat events in the U.S. and around the world have become more frequent and more severe because of climate change.
Jennifer Pagan
Jennifer Pagan, center, sits in front of an open fire hydrant in the Bronx, N.Y., on Friday.Seth Wenig / AP

The Biden administration on Tuesday unveiled a new website designed to help keep Americans safe from extreme heat.

The newly launched site will provide maps, data and other information to help the public and local officials prepare for heat waves, understand the health risks and identify who is most vulnerable.

The initiative is part of broader efforts by the government and President Biden's National Climate Task Force to address extreme heat and other impacts of climate change.

"President Biden has directed us to respond to the extreme heat gripping the nation," Gina McCarthy, the White House national climate adviser, said in a statement. "Extreme heat is a silent killer, yet it affects more Americans than any other weather emergency — particularly our nation's most vulnerable."

McCarthy added that the website will be a resource for people across the country, including at all levels of government, to "take actions that can reduce the deadly health impacts of extreme heat."

Extreme heat events in the United States and around the world have become more frequent and more severe due to climate change. Emissions of heat-trapping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere — due to human activities such as burning fossil fuels — have raised global average temperatures, effectively "loading the dice" for extreme heat.

Already this summer, most parts of the country have suffered through at least one sizzling heat wave, including most recently the Northeast, where temperatures in Newark, New Jersey, hit triple digits for five consecutive days. Parts of the Pacific Northwest are now bracing for soaring temperatures, with parts of Oregon facing forecasts of 100 degrees or more.

The site on Tuesday showed that more than 38 million people in the U.S. are currently under active extreme heat advisories, watches and warnings.

The website features information and heat forecasts from multiple federal agencies, including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The website is especially designed to provide guidance for those most at risk of heat-related illness and death. Young children, the elderly and those with certain pre-existing medical conditions are particularly vulnerable during heat waves, but extreme heat also disproportionately affects Native American and Black communities, as well as disadvantaged or rural neighborhoods, according to the CDC.

"For far too long, our most vulnerable populations are the ones who bear the brunt of extreme heat," Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a statement. " provides real tools and resources that can help people who are suffering."