Publication Date


Document Type


Organizational Units

Graduate School of Social Work


Extreme weather, Neighbor, Social capital, Heat, Winter



Weather extremes are increasing with climate change and associated with higher morbidity and mortality. Promotion of social connections is an emerging area of research and practice for risk reduction during weather extremes. This study examines the practice of checking on neighbors during extreme summer heat and extreme winter weather. Objectives are to (1) describe the extent of neighbor checking during these extremes, and (2) examine factors associated with neighbor checking. Methods:

We analyze survey data (n = 442) from a primarily low- and moderate- income study sample in a Southeastern U.S. city, using descriptive statistics and logistic regression. Results:

About 17.6% of participants checked on neighbors during extreme summer heat, and 25.2% did so during extreme winter weather. Being middle or older aged and having more adverse physical health impacts were positively associated with neighbor checking, for both extremes. For winter only, having less education was positively associated with neighbor checking. Conclusions:

Community-based partnerships for reducing risk during weather extremes may consider people who are older or have experienced their own adverse health impacts as initial target groups for promoting neighbor checking. Future research should also examine the motivations for, details about, and impacts of neighbor checking in greater depth.

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Publication Statement

This article was originally published as:

Mason, L., & Ekenga, C. (2021). Keeping each other safe: Who checks on their neighbors during weather extremes in summer and winter? Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness, 1-8. doi:10.1017/dmp.2021.175