Photo: Russ Allison Loar via Flickr
Policy Solution

Early-warning system

Awareness and Engagement

Overview:

Summary: Communication systems issuing warnings about forecasted dangerous heat conditions have been shown to reduce mortality during extreme heat events.

Implementation: Establish an extreme heat warning system with information about the duration and severity of the heat event as well as directing residents to cooling resources in the community.

Considerations for Use: Heat alerts should be disseminated through multiple channelssuch as social media, radio, television, text and phone call alerts to ensure the largest reach. The timing and resulting effectiveness of the first official announcement will establish a community's level of trust in the system.

  • Policy Levers: The mechanism municipalities can use to actualize the intervention. These policy levers will likely be used in combination with each other.

    Awareness and EngagementGovernments may design and operate programs with the goal of increasing awareness and engagement among constituents or stakeholder groups about the risks and opportunities of extreme heat.
  • Trigger Points: Opportunities for municipalities to implement risk reduction and preparedness interventions based on the policy lever, building on the United Nations Environment Programme triggers used in the Beating the Heat handbook (2021).

    No-regrets actions (low cost/low effort but substantial benefit)Interventions that are relatively low-cost and low effort (in terms of requisite dependencies) but have substantial environmental and/or social benefits.
  • Intervention Type:
    Communications/Outreach
  • Sectors:
    Disaster Risk Management  , Informal Settlements, Public Health,

    Impact:

  • Target Beneficiaries:
    Residents; Heat-vulnerable communities
  • Phase of Impact:
    Emergency response and management
  • Metrics:
    Number of community members reached

Implementation:

  • Intervention Scale:
    City; State/Province
  • Authority and Governance:
    City government; State/provincial government
  • Implementation Timeline:
    Short-term (1-2 Years)
  • Implementation Stakeholders:
    Array
  • Funding Sources:
    Grants and philanthropy; Public investment
  • Capacity to Act:
    High

    Benefits:

  • Cost-Benefit:
    Low
  • Public Good:
    High
  • GHG Reduction:
    N/A
  • Co-benefits (Climate/Environmental):
    Provide flood protection
  • Co-benefits (Social):
    Build social cohesion; Improve human health