Socioeconomic Indicators of Heat-related Health Risk Supplemented with Remotely Sensed Data

International Journal of Health Geographics 2009, 8:57

Daniel P Johnson, Jeffrey S Wilson, George C Luber


Extreme heat events are the number one cause of weather-related fatalities in the United States. The current system of alert for extreme heat events does not take into account intra-urban spatial variation in risk. The purpose of this study is to evaluate a potential method to improve spatial delineation of risk from extreme heat events in urban environments by integrating sociodemographic risk factors with estimates of land surface temperature derived from thermal remote sensing data.


Comparison of logistic regression models indicates that supplementing known sociodemographic risk factors with remote sensing estimates of land surface temperature improves the delineation of intra-urban variations in risk from extreme heat events.


Thermal remote sensing data can be utilized to improve understanding of intra-urban variations in risk from extreme heat. The refinement of current risk assessment systems could increase the likelihood of survival during extreme heat events and assist emergency personnel in the delivery of vital resources during such disasters.

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