LA leaders push for measures to prevent heat-related deaths

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles city leaders are pushing for measures to monitor and prevent deaths from extreme heat after a newspaper investigation found California has failed to adequately address the health dangers of increasingly hot weather.

City Councilman Paul Koretz introduced a motion this week directing the city’s Emergency Management Department to report back on the status and cost of a surveillance system to track “when and where heat-related deaths are occurring."

Koretz cited last week's Los Angeles Times report that said the state chronically undercounts the death toll and has failed to address the growing threat of heat-related illness and death amid global warming.

His motion also asks officials to identify vulnerable populations and develop plans "to minimize to near-zero deaths related to heat.”

Koretz said governments need to compile information on where to focus resources to reduce the death toll.

Some local governments in California, including LA County, already have surveillance systems in place to track heat-related illness. But there is no statewide system to track heat-related deaths and emergency-room visits in real time, the Times reported.