Chicago Wasn’t Prepared For The 1995 Heat Wave. Here’s Why.

Over five sweltering days in 1995, nearly everyone from city leaders to meteorologists to journalists downplayed the danger to residents.

Homewood deaths heat wave
Mark Czernick and his son Zachery, 7, pray at a mass grave site, after tossing a flower onto the coffins at the Homewood Memorial Cemetery in Homewood, Ill., Friday, Aug. 25, 1995. Buried are more than 40 of the forgotten and unclaimed victims of Chicago's July summer heat disaster. (AP Photo/Beth A. Keiser) AP
Homewood deaths heat wave
Mark Czernick and his son Zachery, 7, pray at a mass grave site, after tossing a flower onto the coffins at the Homewood Memorial Cemetery in Homewood, Ill., Friday, Aug. 25, 1995. Buried are more than 40 of the forgotten and unclaimed victims of Chicago's July summer heat disaster. (AP Photo/Beth A. Keiser) AP

Chicago Wasn’t Prepared For The 1995 Heat Wave. Here’s Why.

Over five sweltering days in 1995, nearly everyone from city leaders to meteorologists to journalists downplayed the danger to residents.

It’s been 25 years since a record-breaking heat wave killed hundreds of people in Chicago and the Midwest. Reset continues its weeklong series examining the factors that contributed to the death toll and whether the city is prepared to weather another major health crisis.

GUESTS: Cheryl Corley, NPR correspondent based in Chicago

Judith Helfand, filmmaker and director of Cooked: Survival By Zip Code