Heat Response Guideline: the guideline includes specific actions related to access to water, cooling centres, monitoring in social housing and outside. The city increases access to water through both increasing the number of water fountains annually and installing temporary water fountains and misters in the summer. Providing cool common rooms and increasing tenant monitoring in social housing complements the opening of cooling centres in public facilities around the city. City staff have been working with BC Housing to improve communication and resources for social housing providers and building operators.
In terms of longer-term actions, city staff target hot areas with vulnerable conditions for additional tree planting and green infrastructure; an assessment of cooling options for city-owned social housing has been completed; staff are researching thermal comfort and building design options; and many more actions.
There were four main actions utilized to reduce heat-related mortality in vulnerable populations. First, increasing access to drinking water through the additon of more fixed drinking fountains, acquiring portable fountains that could be deployed as necessary, and increasing the number of places in which reusable water bottles could be refilled. Second, planning for the creation of temporary cooling shelters to be activated during an extreme heat event. Third, monitoring of public spaces for vulnerable populations and increasing staff resources to help inform at-risk individuals of the dangers faced and how to access fresh water, cooling facilities, and other means of protecting themselves. And fourth, the establishment of public outreach and information programs to inform the public at large on what the dangers are, how to spot an ailing or vulnerable person, and how to help them. Additionally, there are plans for using GIS systems for more precise placement of cooling centers and exploring the possibility of using public transportation service to help people access cooling centers that would be otherwise unreachable.