Work Streams

Working groups, initiated at the July 2016 kick-off workshop ("work streams"), meet regularly with the aim of filling gaps in knowledge of extreme heat physical and public health science, communication, and practice. This includes contributing to a broad assessment of existing knowledge and capacity related to climate, weather, and public health in the region.

Work streams are oriented around the five focal areas described below. If you would like to participate in one of the work streams, please complete this form.

Work Stream A: Historical Climatology and Vulnerability

This work stream is focused on historic responses to extreme heat events and the vulnerabilities associated with those events. The goal of the work stream is to improve understanding of (a) the historical climatology of the region, with respect to extreme heat episodes, (b) the historic responses to previous occurrences of extreme heat and the efficacy of those responses, (c) the regional vulnerabilities to episodes of extreme heat, and (d) indicators that will be useful in providing early warning of extreme heat episodes.

Work Stream B: Linkages between Heat Parameters and Health Outcomes

This work stream bridges the gap between heat-related parameters and health consequences. The goal of the work stream is to improve understanding of the connections and correlations between heat-related parameters and health consequences, in order to determine the most effective parameters to monitor for reducing heat-related morbidity and mortality.

Work Stream C: Prediction, Outlooks, Early Warning

This work stream is focused on issues related to official and experimental forecasts, products to inform decision makers and the public, and prospects for improving early warning for episodes of extreme heat. The goal of the work stream is to improve understanding of the heat-health forecast products and services that can be made available to predict episodes of extreme heat, on multiple timescales, in order to provide advance warning to reduce heat-related morbidity and mortality.

Work Stream D: Communication, Engagement, and Capacity Building

Originally two separate work streams, these groups combined to focus on related issues including outreach to the public, effective communication and messaging, and improving regional capacities to prepare for and respond to extreme heat episodes. The goals of the group are:

- Ensure the improved understanding of heat waves and health impacts is broadly accessible and well understood so that it influences behavior and reduces morbidity and mortality. Accomplish this by incorporating cultural sensitivity and facilitating inter-organization dialogue and engagement.

- Assess and improve the financial, institutional, and community capacity and training needed to effectively use early warning information and implement or enhance early warning capabilities, in order to reduce heat-related morbidity and mortality, and enhance resilience to extreme heat episodes.

Work Stream E: Infrastructure

This work stream was added after the July 2016 workshop, with the goal of assessing and improving the financial, institutional, and community capacity and training needed to effectively use early warning information and implement or enhance early warning capabilities, in order to reduce heat-related morbidity, and enhance resilience to extreme heat episodes.