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Policy Solution

Heat emergency response plan



Summary: Creating a heat emergency response plan can help governments anticipate heat waves and minimize loss of life. A heat emergency response plan will identify vulnerable populations, set standards to forecast and categorize heat waves, and identify roles and responsibilities for different stakeholders during high-heat events.

Implementation: Coordinate with local, regional, state/provincial, and/or national entities to prepare a heat emergency response plan.

Considerations for Use: Emergency response plans should be regularly tested and updated. Preventative and emergency communication plans and materials should be included.

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

    CommitmentGovernments set ambitious goals or targets to guide prioritization and investment.
  • 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).

    City planning processesIncludes city initiatives such as the development of climate action plan, pathway to zero-energy, master plan, transit plan, energy mapping etc.
    Preparatory measures (actions to establish authority to act)Actions to establish/ ensure the authority to act when appropriate trigger-points occur.
  • Intervention Type:
  • Sectors:
    Disaster Risk Management  , Informal Settlements, Public Health


  • Target Beneficiaries:
    Heat-vulnerable communities, Residents
  • Phase of Impact:
    Emergency response and management
  • Metrics:
    Reduction in heat-related deaths


  • Intervention Scale:
    City, Region, State/Province
  • Authority and Governance:
    City government, National government, State/provincial government
  • Implementation Timeline:
    Short-term (1-2 Years)
  • Implementation Stakeholders:
    CBOs, City government, Industry, National government, Property owners and managers, Public, State/provincial government
  • Funding Sources:
    Public investment
  • Capacity to Act:
    High, Medium


  • Cost-Benefit:
  • Public Good:
  • GHG Reduction:
  • Co-benefits (Climate/Environmental):
  • Co-benefits (Social):
    Build community capacity, Build social cohesion, Improve human health