Developing Best Practices and Guidance for
Extreme Heat Hazard, Risk and Adaptation Mapping
Extreme heat mapping ― an important planning tool for communities ― is still a new practice in B.C., and there are currently no set standards or guidelines. A new project is now underway (July 2023 - March 2024) to create opportunities for peer learning and collaboration among those in BC engaged in heat hazard mapping, risk mapping and adaptation mapping projects. The aim is to develop best practices relevant for First Nations, Treaty Nations, local governments and public sector organizations in B.C.
Background - The Risks of Extreme Heat in BC
Across British Columbia, there is growing recognition of the impacts of extreme heat on the environment, agriculture and critical infrastructure and on people’s health and well-being. Among the known impacts are heat-related illnesses, illness from worsened air quality and smog, longer and more intense allergy seasons, greater spread of food crop pests, and changes in the spread of zoonotic infectious disease.
The risks are of extreme heat are also higher for those people who:
Further information on extreme heat can be found at ClimateReadyBC.
About the Project
Support for Communities in Extreme Heat Planning and Risk Reduction
The 2021 heat dome in BC highlighted the disproportionate impacts extreme heat has on equity-denied populations in rural and urban communities. The BC Coroner Services released a report that explored the circumstances around the deaths from the heat dome and identified actions to prevent future fatalities.
In collaboration with their partners, BC communities and support organizations are actively responding to extreme heat risks. Key actions include developing Heat Alert and Response Plans, adapting agricultural practices and establishing public cooling centres, water fountains and wellness checks. Lessons have been learned from the lived experiences of heat-vulnerable and equity-denied groups of people on how to improve future extreme heat preparedness and response.
Through the Climate Preparedness and Adaptation Strategy (CPAS), the Province of BC is working to support extreme heat planning and risk reduction measures. Under CPAS, the Community Emergency Preparedness Fund (CEPF) was revised in 2022 to include funding for communities to undertake extreme heat hazard, risk and adaptation mapping. This work provides the foundation for policy and program development and for the implementation of measures to enhance community-level resilience.
Extreme heat mapping is a new practice to B.C. and there are currently no set standards or guidelines for undertaking extreme heat hazard, risk and adaptation mapping.
From July 2023 to March 2024, the project “Developing Best Practices and Guidance for Extreme Heat Hazard, Risk and Adaptation Mapping” will create opportunities for peer learning and collaboration on these issues and establish best practices relevant to First Nations, Treaty Nations, local governments, and public sector organizations in B.C.
Community of Practice
Best Practices Guide and Methodology for Extreme Heat Mapping
The Fraser Basin Council is leading work on the project. It was initiated with funding support from the Ministry of Emergency Management and Climate Readiness and technical support from GeoBC.
To learn more, contact: