The US Department of Health and Human Services has launched a new tool to help communities prepare for extreme heat, and prevent heat-related illnesses.

The HHS is setting off the first nationwide Heat and Health-providing outcome information by zip-code to be used to help state and local officials identify communities most likely to be negatively impacted by extreme heat.

On the new index, Potter County and the rest of the Texas Panhandle and High Plains region rates high, and is forecast to have an abnormally hot summer.

For communities with a discouraging ranking, the HHS noted that the HHI data could be used by local officials to identify and prioritize areas most at risk and help with preparation and response.