Assessing the performance of a vulnerabilty index during oppressive heat across Georgia, U.S.
Maier, George Sinclair
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Extreme heat is the leading weather related killer in the U.S. Vulnerability to extreme heat has previously been identified and mapped in some regions to improve heat morbidity and mortality prevention efforts. The following study recreates and maps a heat vulnerability index using county level demographic, land cover, and health data over the state of Georgia. The effect modification of vulnerability index score was modeled with mortality during extreme heat. Overall, results indicate that days with extreme heat observed greater mortality than days without extreme heat. However, this relationship was not statistically significant for counties with vulnerability index scores of zero through four (on a scale of zero to nine). Statistically significant increases in mortality on days with extreme heat began at a vulnerability index score of five, and became more pronounced as vulnerability scores increased.