Policy Solution

Wellness check programs

Awareness and Engagement


Summary: Socially isolated and other vulnerable populations are at greater risk of health emergencies during heat waves. Programs to check in on these populations can reduce heat-related illness and emergencies by having people designated to check in on individuals.

Implementation: Establish a wellness check program with three steps: 1) create a voluntary registry supported by targeted outreach for individuals to sign up to be checked on during extreme heat events; 2) train members of the community to recognize heat stress symptoms and check-in on vulnerable populations during heat waves; and 3) launch a campaign; which can be paired with a heat wave alert system.

Considerations for Use: The list of program participants should be updated on an annual basis. Government can partner with community-based organizations to support outreach to hard-to-reach populations.

  • 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:
  • Sectors:
    Disaster Risk Management  , Informal Settlements, Public Health


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


  • Intervention Scale:
    City, Neighborhood
  • Authority and Governance:
    City government
  • Implementation Timeline:
    Short-term (1-2 Years)
  • Implementation Stakeholders:
    CBOs, City government, Public
  • Funding Sources:
    Grants and philanthropy, Public investment
  • Capacity to Act:
    High, Low, Medium


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