(This content was previously published as part of an IFRC press release)
The new Heatwave Guide for Cities from the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre offers urban planners and city authorities an authoritative summary of the actions they can take to reduce the danger of heatwaves, which are defined as a period of time when temperatures, or temperature in combination with other factors, are unusually high and hazardous to human health and well-being.
Examples of the actions that cities can take include:
Establishing systems to warn people ahead of anticipated periods of extreme heat;
Strengthening health-systems to reduce the risk of them being overwhelmed during a heat crisis;
Conducting community-awareness campaigns;
Establishing cooling centres and telephone helplines for vulnerable people in need of help, treatment and support;
Greening cities and urban centres, for example, by planting trees, protecting green spaces, and introducing car-free zones.
The Heatwave Guide for Cities was produced by the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre in collaboration with more than 25 partner institutions including ICLEI, Arizona State University, Met Office, John Hopkins University, USAID, International Research Institute for Climate and Society, the World Meteorological Organization and World Health Organization Joint Office for Climate and Health, Thomson Reuters Foundation and the cities of Cape Town, Kampala, Entebbe, Ekurhuleni and Phoenix.