J10.4 Assessment of Heat Warning and Information Systems in Canada

Wednesday, 25 January 2017: 4:45 PM
Conference Center: Tahoma 5 (Washington State Convention Center )
Dave Henderson, EC, Gatineau, QC, Canada; and A. Yagouti, H. Doyle, V. Anderson, and M. MacDonald

Health-based Heat Warning and Information Systems (HWIS) are currently operating in a number of Canadian jurisdictions.  These systems have been developed by Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) in collaboration with Health Canada, provincial ministries and local public health agencies to better protect residents and vulnerable community members by harmonizing risk communication messages and increasing consistency in response to heat events. Often a missing element in the adoption of programs of these sorts is some form of evaluation mechanism. The purpose of this abstract is to report on the qualitative and quantitative approaches being pursued to ascertain the efficiency of these systems and to develop relevant indicators that could be used to monitor over time.  The focus will be on reporting on the methodologies and preliminary results from the assessment of the implementation of the HWIS in the province of Ontario during the summer 2016.  The assessment includes not only the collaboration around issuing warnings but also local public health and community partner activities triggered by the provision of the ECCC services, assessing public and media perception of the communications, and examining whether these systems have helped prevent heat-related illnesses and deaths in the province.
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