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Region 5 Hosts Extreme Heat Summit in Chicago

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U.S. Fire Administrator Dr. Moore-Merrell, FEMA Region 5 Regional Administrator Sivak, FEMA Administrator Criswell, and Associate Administrator for Resilience Victoria Salinas participate in summit discussions.

(L to R) U.S. Fire Administrator Dr. Moore-Merrell, FEMA Region 5 Regional Administrator Sivak, FEMA Administrator Criswell, and Associate Administrator for Resilience Victoria Salinas participate in summit discussions.

FEMA Region 5, in partnership with the National Exercise Division, co-hosted a first-of-its-kind Extreme Heat Summit in Chicago on May 9 – 10. Set on the 99th floor of the iconic Willis Tower, this two-day summit offered a forum for agency leadership and federal partners to identify and address key challenges in protecting our communities during dangerously high temperature events.

Subject matter experts from across the country provided a room of nearly 150 attendees with important insights, including how extreme heat impacts operations, occupational health and critical infrastructure, considerations for preparedness messaging and best practices for reducing these risks going forward.  

“We have the greatest opportunity to build resilient communities with bold, big projects that eliminate effects of extreme heat,” said FEMA Region 5 Regional Administrator Tom Sivak, as he kicked off day two of the summit. “The challenge is to build a pathway to success, and the way we do this is the relationships and engagements we build upon today.”

Participants considered and discussed the actions necessary for a future of reduced deaths attributed to extreme heat, greater resilience against the impacts of high temperatures, and a whole community of responders working together to protect the most vulnerable. The outcomes of this summit—along with lessons learned from Region 5’s Extreme Heat Community Roundtable on May 2, 2023—will serve as the basis for developing agency recommendations to shape how we support our state, local, tribal and territorial partners in the face of this increasingly significant threat across the nation.

The Extreme Heat Summit kicks off at the Willis Tower in downtown Chicago

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