What is the city doing to protect more Angelenos from extreme heat?

Written by Amy Ta, produced by Angie Perrin

A water bottle fill station is located at the top of Mt. Wilson, California. Photo by Shutterstock.

Palm Springs hit 124 degrees Fahrenheit over the weekend, while Las Vegas was 120 degrees on Sunday. For the most vulnerable people, heat is a serious health threat. Last year, 2,300 people died nationwide of heat related illnesses, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data analyzed by the Associated Press. 

LA Chief Heat Officer Marta Segura tells KCRW, “Extreme heat is LA's most dangerous climate hazard. … We want to make sure that every [city] department is aware of the resources that they have to … [reduce] these vulnerabilities, these preventable deaths and injuries.”

She points out that the Cool Spots LA app lets users locate all hydration stations (almost all city libraries have them), cooling centers, and bus shelters (the city has $80 million to keep building more). 

As for unhoused Angelenos, officials want to create more street triage teams and extra cooling centers (aka climate stations) in Skid Row, says Segura, who also directs the Climate Emergency Mobilization Office for the City of Los Angeles. 

“In fact, our climate stations that are on Skid Row provide more than cooling. They provide navigation resources … so if they desire to be sheltered, they can get that information there. If they need health care services, they can get that information.” 

Segura emphasizes that summers have gotten warmer and more dangerous than previously. She advises people to wear light-colored clothes, drink less alcohol and caffeine (which causes dehydration), and take care of friends and family. 

“Those that are vulnerable, that have asthma or other pre-existing health conditions, seniors … check in on them, visit them, and make sure that they are aware that they maybe should even be taking electrolytes.”



  • Marta Segura - Chief Heat Officer for the City of Los Angeles