Keeping communities healthy during extreme heat

March 2, 2022
Pictured above: a 2019 community workshop on extreme heat


It might feel like the middle of winter, but Interior Health's Healthy Communities team is hard at work helping communities prepare for the extreme heat of summer. 


The interior region of B.C. is home to some of the hottest communities in Canada. Current research tells us that temperatures will continue to rise, and extreme heat events will last longer in the future. 

Although each community had a different experience, the June 2021 'heat dome' impacted all of us. Extremely hot temperatures lasted for several days, and overnight temperatures remained high, offering little relief from the heat. Times like these of intense heat with no break can have many negative impacts on health, particularly for elderly people and those with existing chronic conditions. Preparing in advance for these extreme heat events will help to keep people in our communities healthy and safe during extreme weather.


Community partners are essential



Recent events have taught us that community partners such as local governments play a vital role when it comes to preparing communities for heat events and protecting the health of citizens. 

Over the past four years, Interior Health has received grant funding from Health Canada and the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions to work with communities and help them understand the health impacts of extreme heat.

Since 2018, Interior Health has developed and delivered workshops focused on responding to extreme heat. These community-focused workshops took place in Kelowna, Ashcroft, Osoyoos, Lytton, and Kamloops. 

These community engagements resulted in the development of a Heat Alert & Response Planning Toolkit for Interior BC Communities to provide community partners with practical information and resources they can use when developing and implementing strategies to respond to extreme heat. 

About the Healthy Communities program

We work with local governments, communities, school districts/schools and families in the Southern Interior for better health and well-being. Through engagement and advocacy we influence equity, public policies, physical and social environments and protecting the public. We know that it takes a collaborative effort to address the social determinants of health and other factors that keep us well, and health cannot be achieved by one sector alone.

Learn more about Healthy Communities


Read our latest stories

6 Minute Read
Health & Wellness

Brynn and Hayden are youth in the Interior who have lived experience with substance use. They teamed up with Interior Heath to promote new…

4 Minute Read
Community & Culture

Name: Logan Nealis (he/him/his)Job Title: Clinical Psychologist Years of Service: TwoWorksite: Royal Inland HospitalCommunity: KamloopsAncestral…

2 Minute Read
Community & Culture

The news of Dr. Doug Cochrane’s recent passing has impacted communities and individuals across B.C. and beyond. Those who had the honour to work…

4 Minute Read
Community & Culture

Welcome to the Meet Your Recruiter series, where we bring you closer to the dedicated professionals behind Interior Health's recruitment team…

3 Minute Read
Community & Culture

Name: Jenelle Butchart (she/her/hers)Job Title: Recreation TherapistYears of Service: 11Worksite: Cottonwoods Care CentreCommunity: Short Stay…

4 Minute Read
Health & Wellness

It’s Valentine’s Day, and many older adults and seniors are enjoying sex just as much—and sometimes more—than younger people. But myths and…


Receive news and alert posts, and Stories@IH blog posts, right to your inbox!