Building Extreme Heat Resiliency



Extreme heat can be unhealthy for everyone, but some groups are at greater risk of illness or death when temperatures rise. CEER researcher Tania Busch Isaksen’s research on heat illness in King County identified specific groups at increased risk of heat-related illness, including older adults, children, people living with chronic illness, and outdoor workers. Public Health Seattle & King County partner Robin Pfohman and Meredith Li-Vollmer conducted focus groups and interviews with target populations to understand community members’ information needs and preferred coping mechanisms for extreme heat. The findings from both research projects informed the design of a comic drawn by artist David Lasky which featured many of Seattle’s diverse communities and the coping mechanisms they use to stay cool in hot weather. The comic was designed to clearly communicate heat safety messages, to represent King County’s diversity of communities, and to be approachable and engaging.


CEER researchers are gathering feedback on the comic from community members to understand how the comic changes heat safety knowledge, attitude and behavior in target populations. The results of these surveys and focus groups will be shared with Public Health-Seattle & King County partners to inform their communications strategies, and results will be published in a peer reviewed journal to inform public health practice in other communities.  


The comic is available in 12 languages on Public Health – Seattle & King County’s website.

The comic is available as an interactive flipbook here.

A US News interview with Robin Pfohman describes the heat comic project goals and methods.