One of the maps showing heat vulnerability in the Regional District of East Kootenay.

Interior Health creates Community Health and Climate Change maps

Interior Health has created a series of community health and climate change maps, designed to help prepare and plan for events caused by climate change.

For instance, last summer’s heat dome was extremely hard on certain parts of the population, such as seniors.

“Recent events have demonstrated the importance of planning and preparing for natural disasters associated with climate change,” said Interior Health president and CEO, Susan Brown. “These new Community Health and Climate Change maps will support the safety and well being of people living across the region and we encourage everyone to take the opportunity now to plan for the effects of climate change.”

The maps are intended to help governments and partners in planning by pointing out climate-sensitive areas that could impact various building projects.

The maps detail what areas of each regional district within the Interior Health area could be most impacted by the following:

• High temperatures

• Low temperatures

• Flooding

• Wildfire smoke

The idea is to get community leaders thinking, talking and planning about climate change and its effects. It can inform emergency response planning and policy development. Interior Health encourages communities to collaborate with them to develop strategies to build climate resilient communities.

“The maps show the communities that are most vulnerable to different climate hazards and allow us to focus our efforts and work together to plan and prepare,” says Dr. Sue Pollock, Chief Medical Health Officer, in a press release. “For example, the maps show communities that may be more affected by heat; this information helps us identify appropriate actions that communities can take in order to keep people healthy and safe.”

To learn more, visit Interior Health’s climate resiliency & planning webpage.

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