Remembering the Chicago heat wave

July 14, 2006
By

jacket imageThe weather forecast for the Chicago area for this weekend is hot and humid, with the Sunday afternoon heat index expected to approach 110°. The National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory for Sunday afternoon through Tuesday evening, noting that the heat may extend into Wednesday and Thursday.
All of which reminds us of this same period eleven years ago—July 13-20, 1995—when over seven hundred people died in Chicago over a week of intense temperatures—with an inadequate public response contributing to the high fatality rates. Eric Klinenberg wrote the definitive book on the event and its causes, Heat Wave: A Social Autopsy of Disaster in Chicago. When the book was published we did an interview with Klinenberg, which still makes instructive reading.
Keep cool this weekend. Go to the library. Go to the beach. See a movie.

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