Opinion

Herrington: There’s a public health role in creating a weather-ready nation

Posted 10/4/21

Many issues related to weather can impact your health. Wildfires spawned by lightning can cause respiratory illnesses from smoke and poor air quality. Flash flooding has led to numerous rescues from vehicles and homes. Last year, extreme heat sent at least 2,414 people to Arizona emergency rooms and contributed to 522 deaths.

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Opinion

Herrington: There’s a public health role in creating a weather-ready nation

Posted

Many issues related to weather can impact your health. Wildfires spawned by lightning can cause respiratory illnesses from smoke and poor air quality.

Flash flooding has led to numerous rescues from vehicles and homes. Last year, extreme heat sent at least 2,414 people to Arizona emergency rooms and contributed to 522 deaths.

There are many actions you and your family can take to be prepared for unexpected weather. ADHS has developed simple health safety messages for what to do before, during and after wildfires, monsoon, extreme heat in the deserts, and extreme cold in Arizona’s higher elevations.

This month, the National Weather Service named the Arizona Department of Health Services an Ambassador of Excellence for its efforts to ensure Arizona is weather-ready, including:

  • Inspiring others to take action and become ready, responsive and resilient;
  • Creating innovative ways to engage the community, the workforce, and/or social networks;
  • Forming unique collaborations with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and/or other ambassador organizations to achieve goals they alone could not meet; and
  • Helping build a “Weather-Ready Nation for All” by addressing the needs of vulnerable populations.

“ADHS is a prime example of a core partner promoting weather safety and education as a Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador,” according to the National Weather Service. “Their contributions have undoubtedly improved public awareness, education and preparedness for the extreme heat experienced in Arizona.”

I’m proud of this recognition and the ADHS employees who worked hard to make it happen.

I hope it gives everyone a reason to check out the Weather-Ready Nation resources available at weather.gov so you’re ready for Arizona’s predictably unpredictable weather.

Editor's note: Don Herrington is interim director of the Arizona Department of Health Services. This article is reprinted from a blog post at: azdhs.gov.

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