Operations Resources

Extreme Heat and Wildfire Smoke

Preparing for the effects of climate change

The effects of climate change mean summers are getting longer and hotter, and weather throughout the year is becoming more extreme. Catastrophic events like heat domes, flooding, landslides, and heavy snowfall are happening more often, often with tragic consequences. 

Everyone is at risk from extreme heat and wildfire smoke, but low-income individuals, seniors, people with chronic illness, people living in non-profit housing or experiencing homelessness, and other vulnerable communities are at greater risk of illness and death due to extreme heat. 

It is important for non-profit housing providers to prepare for emergencies related to climate change, so the organization is prepared and tenants are well-informed before temperatures rise.

  • Develop a response plan for extreme heat and wildfire smoke
  • Know the risks of extreme heat, the signs of overheating and how to respond
  • Learn more about options and funding for cooling equipment and other heat mitigation strategies

Develop a heat response plan

An organization-wide heat response plan is an important step in mitigating the risks of overheating. BC Housing provides a worksheet to help non-profit housing providers understand what to include, including staff training needs, outlining roles and responsibilities in an emergency, assessing tenant vulnerability, internal and tenant communication strategies, and more.

BCNPHA Resources

BCNPHA supports non-profit housing providers with information, resources and energy and retrofit coaching to help societies prepare for extreme heat and wildfire smoke.

Extreme heat webinar

Hear from health officials, non-profit housing providers and BC Housing representatives in Extreme Heat and Wildfire Smoke: Essential Tools for Preparation and Protection, a free, recorded webinar we delivered in April 2023. Learn how to create your organization’s heat response plan and link to resources that will help you quickly understand the signs of overheating and what to do.

Energy and Retrofit Coaching

BCNPHA’s energy specialists can provide coaching on heating and cooling system retrofits to balance thermal comfort and safety with energy efficiency. Our team can walk you through options like window films, air conditioning and heat pumps, and applicable rebates. Contact us at energy@bcnpha.ca for more information.

Want to learn more?

BC Housing provides a wealth of resources for your organization and tenants in preparing for and responding to extreme heat and wildfire smoke, with downloadable posters for your building, resources for staff and tenants, and more.