Heat waves: How France has cut death toll 90% since 2003

Chagrined by its lack of planning that contributed to many deaths in a 2003 heat wave, France developed a coordinated national response that in 2019 cut the death toll by 90% despite even higher temperatures. By paying particular attention to vulnerable elderly people living alone, and requiring officials at all levels of government to communicate warnings and advice clearly, the government promoted simple safety measures and awareness of risks in effective ways, including discouraging outdoor recreation and closely monitoring and cooling older residents.

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