Miami-Dade mayor wants to talk about heat but not basketball

MIAMI – This week, temperatures will be in the 90s, according to Local 10′s Weather Authority so Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levin Cava’s extreme heat warning couldn’t come soon enough.

Last year alone there were two dozen heat-related deaths in South Florida.

Cava says the county experiences nearly two months more extreme heat than it did 50 years ago, from May through October with temperatures above 90 degrees.

“We all feel it and it’s only going to get worse,” said Cava.

By mid-century, she said, the county is projected to have the highest rise in days where the heat index tops 100 degrees than any other county in the country.

Every single year in Miami-Dade County, 34 people are dying due to extreme heat because they don’t have basic protections in their workplace, like water, shade and rest,” said Oscar Londono, the co-executive director of “We County.”

Hundreds more are hospitalized; some of those are outdoor workers and advocates say awareness campaigns, like the one announced by Cava on Monday can save lives.

“We’ve had people end up in the emergency room because they were waiting at a bus stop,” said Jane Gilbert, the county’s first chief heat officer.

Part of that prevention is planting more trees throughout the county something that’s already underway. Along with adding more shelters at bus stops and cool pavements, Gilbert says preparing for hotter heat seasons is just as important as preparing for hurricane season.

“We don’t see the roofs blowing off of a house, or people canoeing on a street—it is not as visual, but it is impacting more people’s health, and lives,” she said.

The action plan, unveiled in 2022, was devised by the county’s regulator and economic resources department with attention on economic and health risks associated with South Florida’s summers getting hotter and longer due to climate change and urban development, according to the plan.

The plan is organized around three goals:

Inform, Prepare, and Protect People: Foster healthy and resilient communities by bolstering outreach and education efforts, improving extreme heat warning systems and emergency protocols, protecting outdoor workers and building the capacity of healthcare practitioners to identify and respond to heat vulnerability and illness in their patients.

Cool Homes and Emergency Facilities: Improve access to efficient and reliable cooling in homes and to a place to cool off in the event of a power outage.

Cool Neighborhoods: Reduce the excessive heat burden in urban areas by expanding the tree canopy and vegetation, improving access to water features and shade structures, and cooling our surfaces.

See the plan.

About the Authors:

Layron Livingston made the move from Ohio's Miami Valley to Miami, Florida, to join the Local 10 News team.

Michelle F. Solomon is the podcast producer/reporter/host of Local 10's original, true-crime podcast The Florida Files and a digital journalist for Local