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Open AccessArticle

Establishing Heat Alert Thresholds for the Varied Climatic Regions of British Columbia, Canada

1
British Columbia Centre for Disease Control, 655 West 12th Ave, Vancouver, BC V5Z 4R4, Canada
2
Climate Change and Innovation Bureau, Healthy Environments and Consumer Safety Branch, Health Canada, 269 Laurier Avenue West, Ottawa, ON K1A 0K9, Canada
3
National Health and Air Quality Program, Meteorological Service of Canada, Environment and Climate Change Canada, 45 Alderney Dr, Dartmouth, NS B2Y 2N6, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(9), 2048; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph15092048
Received: 31 July 2018 / Revised: 14 September 2018 / Accepted: 18 September 2018 / Published: 19 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Health Vulnerability and Adaptation Assessments)
Following an extreme heat event in 2009, a Heat Alert and Response System (HARS) was implemented for the greater Vancouver area of British Columbia (BC), Canada. This system has provided a framework for guiding public health interventions and assessing population response and adaptation to extreme heat in greater Vancouver, but no other parts of BC were covered by HARS. The objective of this study was to identify evidence-based heat alert thresholds for the Southwest, Southeast, Northwest, and Northeast regions to facilitate the introduction of HARS across BC. This was done based on a national approach that considers high temperatures on two consecutive days and the intervening overnight low, referred to as the high-low-high approach. Daily forecast and observed air temperatures and daily mortality counts for May through September of 2004 through 2016 were obtained. For each date (dayt), dayt−2 forecasts were used to assign high temperatures for dayt and dayt+1 and the overnight low. A range of high-low-high threshold combinations was assessed for each region by finding associations with daily mortality using time-series models and other considerations. The following thresholds were established: 29-16-29 °C in the Southwest; 35-18-35 °C in the Southeast; 28-13-28 °C in the Northwest; and 29-14-29 °C in the Northeast. Heat alert thresholds for all regions in BC provide health authorities with information on dangerously hot temperature conditions and inform the activation of protective public health interventions. View Full-Text
Keywords: extreme heat; temperature; mortality; public health surveillance; heat alert and response system; climate change; early warning systems extreme heat; temperature; mortality; public health surveillance; heat alert and response system; climate change; early warning systems
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MDPI and ACS Style

McLean, K.E.; Stranberg, R.; MacDonald, M.; Richardson, G.R.A.; Kosatsky, T.; Henderson, S.B. Establishing Heat Alert Thresholds for the Varied Climatic Regions of British Columbia, Canada. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 2048. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph15092048

AMA Style

McLean KE, Stranberg R, MacDonald M, Richardson GRA, Kosatsky T, Henderson SB. Establishing Heat Alert Thresholds for the Varied Climatic Regions of British Columbia, Canada. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2018; 15(9):2048. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph15092048

Chicago/Turabian Style

McLean, Kathleen E.; Stranberg, Rebecca; MacDonald, Melissa; Richardson, Gregory R.A.; Kosatsky, Tom; Henderson, Sarah B. 2018. "Establishing Heat Alert Thresholds for the Varied Climatic Regions of British Columbia, Canada" Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 15, no. 9: 2048. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph15092048

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