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Policy Solution

Heat hotlines

Awareness and Engagement


Heat hotlines are telephone helplines that can provide information during a heat wave to members of the public. Hotline operators can share information on how to access cooling resources like cooling centers, identify symptoms of heat-related illness in real-time, and connect users with emergency services as necessary. Heat hotlines can prevent heat-related illness and death by connecting users with resources.


Establish a telephone hotline to provide real-time advice to members of the public on extreme heat and resources for cooling.

Considerations for Use

Depending on climate, hotlines can be active year-round or at select high-risk times of year (e.g. seasonally or during a heat wave).


  • Climate:

    Cold, Hot/Dry, Hot/Humid, Temperate
  • Policy Levers:

    Awareness and EngagementGovernments may design and operate programs with the goal of increasing awareness and engagement among constituents or stakeholder groups about the risks and opportunities of extreme heat.
  • Trigger Points:

    No-regrets actions (low cost/low effort but substantial benefit)Interventions that are relatively low-cost and low effort (in terms of requisite dependencies) but have substantial environmental and/or social benefits.
  • Intervention Types:

  • Sectors:

    Disaster Risk Management, Informal Settlements, Public Health

Case Studies


  • Target Beneficiaries:

    Heat-vulnerable communities, Residents
  • Phase of Impact:

    Emergency response and management
  • Metrics:

    Number of calls received


  • Intervention Scale:

    City, State/Province
  • Authority and Governance:

    City government, State/provincial government
  • Implementation Timeline:

    Short-term (1-2 Years)
  • Implementation Stakeholders:

    CBOs, City government
  • Funding Sources:

    Grants and philanthropy, Public investment
  • Capacity to Act:

    High, Medium


  • Cost-Benefit:

  • Public Good:

  • GHG Reduction:

  • Co-benefits (Climate/Environmental):

    Provide flood protection
  • Co-benefits (Social/Economic):

    Build social cohesion, Improve human health