Heatwave Guide for Red Cross Red Crescent Branches

Heatwaves are deadly disasters that are increasingly common and can seriously affect human health and well-being. When a heatwave strikes, the most vulnerable are the most impacted. In the past decade severe heatwaves have been responsible for numerous fatalities, including over 400 deaths in The Netherlands in 2019, over 1,500 deaths in India in 2015, 4,870 deaths in Paris, France in 2003, and over 10,000 deaths in Russia in 2010. These are likely underestimates because there is no systematic way to count deaths from heatwaves. It is therefore increasingly important for the Red Cross Red Crescent to be aware of the dangers that heatwaves can pose, to understand the vulnerability of specific groups, and to take practical action to save human lives.

Even if you live in a country where it is hot most of the year, where heat has not been an issue in the past, it may be an issue now due to increasing temperatures from climate change. Urgent, timely action at scale during a heatwave can drastically reduce deaths due to extreme heat. Actions are also simple, low-cost, and well within the mandate of the Red Cross Red Crescent.

This guide is based on the comprehensive Heatwave Guide for Cities but it is tailored towards practical actions that can be led by Red Cross Red Crescent branches in preparing for, and responding to, heatwaves in towns and cities.

While aspects of these actions may be new, most recommended actions can be easily integrated into existing branch activities.

Are you sure you want to delete this "resource"?
This item will be deleted immediately. You cannot undo this action.

Related Resources

Guidance material
17 Jul 2019
The Heatwave Guide for Cities from the International Red Cross Red Crescent Movement offers urban planners and city authorities an authoritative summary of the actions they can take to reduce the danger of heatwaves, which are defined as a period of ...
Tags: Guidance material, Climate Change Adaptation, Heat Wave, Urban Risk Reduction
Guidance material
07 Apr 2015
Climate risk management is taking on a new urgency for policy makers, as well as those on the front lines at community level. The connections between climate change and the increased incidence of hurricanes, droughts, massive floods, similar destruct...
Tags: Guidance material, Capacity Building for Disaster Risk Management, Women and Gender in Disaster Management
Guidance material
29 Oct 2013
The main purpose of the Reference Centre is to act as a resource on volunteering to Red Cross Red Crescent (RC/RC) national societies in Europe through research and sharing of information, the development of good practice models and tools, signpostin...
Tags: Guidance material
Scroll to Top