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Photo by Gerd Altmann via Pixabay


National Integrated Heat Health Information System


9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, AP® / College


Science, Social Studies, Earth and Space Sciences, Geography, Health

Resource Types

  • Interactive Media
  • Charts, Graphs, and Tables

Regional Focus

North America, United States

Extreme Heat Vulnerability Mapping Tool

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  • This interactive tool displays which counties in America are most vulnerable to extreme heat, social factors contributing to a county's overall vulnerability index, and how vulnerabilities are projected to intensify in future decades.
  • Students will use a map, datasets, and data visualizations to understand how location and demographics impact how susceptible to heat effects a county's inhabitants are.
Teaching Tips


  • There are many options to manipulate the view to gain even more insight.
  • There is a search bar on the map to pinpoint an exact address.

Additional Prerequisites

  • To optimize the view, set your browser's zoom to 90% when viewing this tool.
  • To alter the interactive charts, click on the counties under "Most Vulnerable" or "Most Vulnerable by Theme."
  • Students should know how to read graphs and charts.
  • Students should understand the health impacts of extreme heat.


  • Teachers can use this interactive tool as a conceptual introduction to environmental racism.
  • Language arts students can use this interactive tool to write a research paper on which United States regions are most vulnerable to climate change.
  • This interactive tool can enhance a classroom discussion on why extreme heat impacts certain groups more than others.
  • Civics students can consider how our country can support the most vulnerable groups before, during, and after extreme heat events.
  • For students who are overwhelmed by a lot of information on one screen, teachers may wish to select a few areas on the map and data visualizations to screenshot, crop, and analyze in isolation.
Scientist Notes
The resource investigates social vulnerability and forecasts climate risk in the future. It measures influential indices of socioeconomic position and social vulnerability. The approach is free of scientific misunderstandings, and using this resource in the classroom is advised.

This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

  • Social Studies
    • U.S. History: America in the World - Geography, People, and the Environment
      • 6.1.12.GeoHE.5.a: Generate/make an evidence-based argument regarding the impact of rapid urbanization on the environment and on the quality of life in cities.
  • Science
    • ESS2: Earth's Systems
      • HS-ESS2-2. Analyze geoscience data to make the claim that one change to Earth’s surface can create feedbacks that cause changes to other Earth systems.
      • HS-ESS2-4. Use a model to describe how variations in the flow of energy into and out of Earth’s systems result in changes in climate.
  • Comprehensive Health & Physical Education
    • Personal and Mental Health
      • 2.1.12.CHSS.8: Investigate how local, state, and global agencies are addressing health issues caused by climate change and share this information in an appropriate setting.
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