Policy Solution

Track heat-related deaths

Mandate

Overview:

Summary: Heat-related deaths are often undercounted or misclassified under the health conditions or incidents that lead to mortality despite being exacerbated by extreme heat. Accurately tracking heat-related deaths is an important metric to prevent future fatalities and implement effective mitigation measures. Governments can identify heat-related deaths more accurately by requiring first responders to take note of environmental conditions and body temperature and creating a centralized system to manage the data.

Implementation: Set reporting conditions or updated definitions to ensure that heat-related deaths are accounted for.

Considerations for Use: Many heat deaths are currently underreported because of complications in reporting preexisting conditions or lack of knowledge. Training and education will be an important part of implementation.

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

    MandateMandates are government regulations that require stakeholders to meet standards through building codes, ordinances, zoning policies, or other regulatory tools.
  • 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:
    Planning/Policy
  • Sectors:
    Disaster Risk Management  , Informal Settlements, Information and Technology, Public Health,

    Impact:

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

Implementation:

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

    Benefits:

  • Cost-Benefit:
    Low
  • Public Good:
    High
  • GHG Reduction:
    N/A
  • Co-benefits (Climate/Environmental):
    N/A
  • Co-benefits (Social):
    Improve human health; Build community capacity