Forgotten Fever. How Municipalities (do not) Adapt to Heat Waves.
Poland, although during the mentioned heat waves was not experienced so severe, also faces problems related to this type of event. Within the years 1989 – 2012, four years with significant heat waves were observed: 1992, 1994, 2006 and 2010. Large cities are at the disposal of different resources (starting with financial, human, infrastructural) to cope with the issue of heat waves. Nevertheless, they are also vulnerable, especially because of the urban heat island effect that mostly strikes large agglomerations due to large population density and concentration of buildings and concrete covered areas.
With these research authors are analysing the problem of municipal preparedness to the risk of heat waves. The focus is on smaller towns in the Wielkopolska region in Poland, with reduced resources when comparing with large agglomerations. It is stated that hardly any efforts are undertaken by municipalities in this respect, even though ageing population of smaller towns increases the risk of dramatic consequences.
The selection of analysed municipalities bases on statistics (from Central Statistical Office of Poland) covering the number of mortality due to cardiovascular disease during heat waves (1992, 1994, 2006, 2010). The communes with the highest number of fatalities, as those mostly experienced, are under investigation. The research is conducted through in-depth interviews.