Philadelphia Heat Vulnerability Index


What is the Philadelphia Heat Vulnerability Index?

The Heat Vulnerability Index (HVI) summarizes the key factors associated with the negative health effects of extreme heat events. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) characterizes extreme heat events as periods of summertime weather that are substantially hotter and/or more humid than typical for a given location at that time of year. Results from Growing Stronger: Toward a Climate-Ready Philadelphia suggest that extreme heat events in Philadelphia will increase in duration, frequency, and intensity. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that extreme heat events can lead to a wide range of health problems including heat exhaustion, heat stroke, rashes, and cramps, as well as exacerbate existing medical conditions. Socioeconomic and demographic characteristics can also leave people more sensitive to extreme heat than others, such as being of older age, living alone, or of lower socioeconomic status. The Philadelphia HVI web map can assist in identifying the communities most at risk of experiencing these adverse health effects.

Use the map below to search for your address, find resources to help you during times of extreme heat, and learn more about how heat vulnerability is distributed throughout Philadelphia. For a full screen view, the map can also be viewed here.

The Philadelphia Heat Vulnerability Index was created by Jason Hammer, MPH in collaboration with the Philadelphia Department of Public Health and Mayor’s Office of Sustainability. For more information, please contact jason.hammer@phila.gov.