There has been a drastic increase of heat-related mortality in the US over the last 30 years. This disproportionately exposes poorer, nonwhite people, and the elderly. The emergence of extreme heat as a climate hazard shows the need for more nuanced cost-benefit metrics, social vulnerability analyses, and federal guidelines to ensure disaster response and preparedness funds are available to local jurisdictions.
Extreme heat has been a concern in Southern California for decades as temperatures continue to rise. In the City of Los Angeles, an effort to provide bus stop shade for public transit riders--who tend to be people of color—demonstrates a long-standing challenge in all levels of government: inability to work across departments.