Past in Perspective

“What dreadful hot weather we have! It keeps
me in a continual state of inelegance.”
–Jane Austen

The Chicago heat wave of 1995 remains etched in memory as one of the deadliest in the city’s history. Spanning from July 12 to July 16, scorching temperatures soared above 100 degrees Fahrenheit. The relentless heat led to over 700 deaths, disproportionately affecting the elderly and impoverished communities. The lack of adequate cooling facilities, coupled with social isolation, exacerbated the crisis. Emergency services were overwhelmed, and morgues reached full capacity. This catastrophic event prompted introspection on urban planning, social support structures, and heat emergency responses, advocating for improved community outreach, heat relief centers, and increased awareness of heat-related health risks.

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