In the Greater Boston region, we're experiencing more frequent and intense heat waves, as well as rising temperatures due to climate change. Scientists predict we could experience up to 40 days over 90 degrees by 2030.
This critical issue must continue to be elevated across the region for members of the public, policy makers, and decision-makers. Community-centered planning and decision-making will be critical to protecting the most vulnerable this—and every future—summer.
Our second annual Heat Prep Week this year is May 23rd – 27th. We’ll share information and host events around the issues of rising temperatures and extreme heat and invite you to do the same.
Each day, we'll focus on a different theme:
- Monday, May 23: Climate Change and Increasing Heat: What we expect to see in Metro Boston and what are communities doing about it?
- Tuesday, May 24: Climate Equity, Heat, and Housing
- Wednesday, May 25: Public Health and Air Quality
- Thursday, May 26: Open Space, Green Infrastructure, and Nature Based Solutions
- Friday, May 27: Impact of Heat on the Electricity Grid
We’ve created a series of sample posts and images you can use to share as well! Download the toolkit for sample social media posts and images sized to use on different platforms.
Ways to Engage
- Share daily social media posts using sample infographics/posts. Use #HeatPrep2021.
- Share stories through social media about what your community is doing related to extreme heat. Include pictures and images if you have them.
- Post a blog about heat preparedness and your community.
- Attend or share information about heat preparation events.
Heat Preparedness Events
KEEPING METRO BOSTON COOL: A PUBLIC FORUM ON BUILDING A HEAT RESILIENT REGION
Tuesday, May 24
6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
This public forum will feature speakers on efforts across Greater Boston working to address the issues of rising and extreme temperatures, public health, equity, and climate change. We will highlight the work of the Metro Mayors Coalition Climate Taskforce in developing a regional Heat Preparedness and Adaptation Plan.
Speakers will include:
- Chelsea City Manager, Tom Ambrosino
- Sasha Shyduroff and Jeanette Pantoja, Metropolitan Area Planning Council
- John Bolduc, City of Cambridge
- Erin Noël, City of Somerville
- Aaron Greiner, CultureHouse
- Dira Johanif, Charles River Watershed Association
This event is co-hosted by the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) and the Metro Mayors Coalition Climate Taskforce with generous support from the Massachusetts Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness Program and the Barr Foundation. Learn More and Register.
Check Out These Other Heat-Related Events Across Our Region
Wednesday, May 25th: 3:00pm-4:30pm
The National Council for Occupational Safety and Health (COSH) invites you to attend a 90-minute session on heat in the workplace. Heat is the leading weather-related killer, and it is becoming more dangerous to all workers. This session will share the latest resources for indoor and outdoor workers exposed to heat hazards, hear from workers and organizers about campaigns to improve heat protections for workers, and share strategies to take action in efforts to improve workplace conditions. Register here.
Sweltering Heat Waves and Increasing Drought: Can the Northeast handle the heat?
Friday, June 3rd: 8:30am-12:00pm
Location: UMass Club, One Beacon Street, Boston, MA or Zoom
Join the Climate Adaptation Forum for this first in-person event since 2020. The Forum will bring in a diverse panel of speakers who will explore what we can learn from practitioners across the country who are already feeling the heat, as well as what our region is doing to mitigate these critical threats to our public and environmental health.
This forum will also be organized in a hybrid format. Attendees will have the option of being in-person, networking at the UMass Club in Boston, MA, or tuning in virtually from their locations around New England, the country, or even internationally! Register here.
Heat Preparedness Resources at MAPC
At MAPC, we’re creating resources, conducting research, and working with cities and towns on extreme heat issues. You can find all our heat-related projects and resources at: https://www.mapc.org/resource-library/extreme-heat/.
- Extreme Heat Resources: Outlines cooling strategies for communities, resources for residents, resources for municipalities, and emergency tips.
- Utility Assistance One-Pagers: Use this handout to share information on utility assistance with their residents. Available in eight languages!
- Climate Vulnerability in Greater Boston: This mapping tool combines sociodemographic, public health, housing, and workforce data with climate exposure data to help identify which populations and neighborhoods are most vulnerable to the impacts of extreme heat.
- Peak Demand Management: MAPC runs our own free Peak Electricity Demand Notification program for our municipalities to learn how to reduce demand, costs, and emissions associated with “peak” capacity charges.
- Extreme Heat Communications and Social Media Toolkit: As part of a Barr Foundation-funded project on COVID-safe cooling, MAPC created a toolkit of flyers, sample social media posts, and images that cities and towns can use to inform residents about heat risks, precautions, and resources.
- Cool It with Art: A How-To Guide for Tackling Rising Temperatures with Art in Our Communities is a guide for local governments, community-based organizations, and artists interested in working together to promote creative approaches to address climate-driven extreme heat impacts and to promote healthy, climate resilient communities.