Excessive Heat Procedures for a City/County

Not everyone has these established for their jurisdiction.

by Eric Holdeman / April 25, 2019

Yesterday I attended a city of Seattle monthly Emergency Operations Center (EOC) representative meeting. One of the topics was excessive heat procedures for the city. Ken Neafcy was kind enough to email me the procedures they have established. I took a PDF version, converted it to Word, and cut and pasted into this document. It is a bit rough on formatting, but maybe it will help you get started on your own if you don't have anything in place already.

Remember, excessive heat waves can be expected as a current and future impact of climate change. Get ready!



Excessive Heat Incident City-wide Coordination Checklist

Triggers for Initial Action:

Include, but are not limited to, the following:

·        Any advisory or statement from the National Weather Service which forecasts the potential for unusually warm conditions to impact the Seattle metro area.

  • Increased reports of heat-related illnesses or impacts (via call volumes/reports from EMS, Public Health, Human Services, 211, Media, Customer Service Bureau, etc.)
  • A number of “hot” days where the temperatures do not cool-off in the evenings for several consecutive days
  • Infrastructure impacts (fire, utilities, power/energy, transportation) that increase the risk of failures

Preparedness  (Hazard Assessment, Situational Awareness, Initial Protective Actions)

  • Prepare for Initial Planning Meeting .......... OEM

Gather short- and long-term weather forecast, identify planned events, conduct initial briefing with SDOs to prep for planning meeting, arrange for meeting room/conference bridge use, send out initial meeting notification to Dept Reps/ attendees

  • Conduct Initial Planning........... OEM (lead) & All Departments (Dept Reps/Agencies and ESFs)

Recommended Attendees:  Public Health, Human Services, Fire, Police, Parks, SCL, SPU, SDOT, Mayor, JIC Supervisor


  • Review weather forecast
  • Report on preparatory items being taken by departments.
  • Discuss any specific concerns/needs from the perspectives of all persons in attendance.
  • Review list of upcoming planned events
  • Review and update locations where the public can get cool; post list in appropriate locations and disseminate
  • Identify potential impacts (power outages, health-care facilities without air conditioning, homeless, at-risk populations, city department operations)
  • Review guidance to be given to any city (and non-city) call centers.
  • Identify actions expected and/or underway
  • Determine if any initial assistance/resources needed
  • Identify “Operational Objectives”, actions/tasks and strategies to assist in development of EOC Consolidated Action Plan (CAP)
  • Discuss EOC activation triggers.
  • Identify initial “Essential Elements of Information (EEI) Strategy” assisting in situational awareness and action planning
  • Determine plan for coordinating public information
  • Communicate key safety and department preparedness messages to public
  • Identify contacts and method(s) between jurisdictions for coordinating and/or sharing the release of statements
  • Develop strategy to outreach to all sectors of community
  • Provide key contact departmental numbers and weblinks
  • Develop standard list of key messages for the mayor to deliver
  • Identify any policy concerns and/or issues — Assemble/Notify Emergency Executive Board as needed
  • Address procedures on reimbursement (if any) for response costs
  • Create WebEOC incident and send notice to DMC/Dept Directors, etc. .............................. OEM
  • Distribute initial EOC Consolidated Action Plan ......................................................................... OEM

Partners such as community organizations, schools, hospitals and chamber/business partners

  • Activate necessary Department Operation Centers (DOCs)............ OEM & All Departments
    • Notify EOC when activated
    • Establish communications
    • Identify initial actions
  • Communicate with city employees............. OEM Director, Department Directors & Policy

Mayor communicates expectations of employees and directs Dept Directors to adjust necessary staffing levels

  • Track costs.................... OEM & All Departments

Items:  Emergency protective measures and potential uninsured property damage; potentially ensure post-event reimbursement.


Response  (Activation, Notifications, Operational & Planning Actions)

  • Actively Monitor Situation ... OEM, Departments & Policy

Incident may not require EOC to activate, however, OEM and all Departments must maintain situational awareness and monitor overall. If necessary, the EOC will activate.

  • Activate EOC ......... OEM, Departments & Policy
  • Department Representatives (recommended): HSD, Fire, Police, Public Health, SCL, Parks, SPU, SDOT, Transit, ACS, Joint Information Center
  • Coordinate city-wide response and recovery efforts
    • Notify Mayor, Council and policy levels
    • Request Department representatives
    • Request activation of Joint Information System and Center (JIS / JIC)
    • Notify departments, King County, Washington state, partners
    • Establish communications and check-in with activated DOCs
    • Confirm activation timeframe, operational periods and staffing needs
  • Communicate with Department and Partner Agencies........................ OEM & All Departments
  • Establish situational awareness and analysis ......................................... OEM & All Departments
    1. What is the situation?
    2. What are the impacts?
    3. What are we doing about it?
    4. What are your unmet needs and the urgency of those needs?
    5. Are you mobilizing beyond current on-duty personnel? If yes, specify.
    6. Are you able to maintain normal service delivery? If not, what has changed?
    7. What information needs to be shared with public?
  • Update Essential Elements of Information Strategy and disseminate
  • Monitor weather
  • Identify current and anticipated impacts to department operations
  • Identify department operations affecting/affected by other department operations
  • Identify current and anticipated impacts to homes, business, critical infrastructure, etc.
  • Periodically Review Progress on Assigned Tasks & Objectives ....... OEM & All Departments
  • Provide verbal updates on progress and challenges in EOC team briefings
  • Document progress and/or modify tasks and objectives as needed in WebEOC.


Emergency Operations Center — Section Responsibilities

Planning Issues (anticipate the near- and long-term needs)

  •   Monitor weather forecast
  •   Contingency plans (power outage, transit disruption, special event impacts, loss of air conditioning at health-care facilities/critical infrastructure, homeless population and at-risk population outreach and impacts)
  •   Call center issues and concerns
  •   Policy decisions list
  •   Transitions within the EOC (staffing, rehab, IT, etc.)
  • Public Information Issues (strategize, anticipate needs, and confirm how information is getting to the right people)
  •   Heat injury prevention (humans and animals)
  •   Power conservation
  •   Open locations for getting cool and hours of service
  •   Encourage citizens to check on one another and vulnerable neighbors
  •   Match methods of information dissemination to targeted audiences
  •   Maintain and update list of key messages for the Mayor to deliver
  • Department Representative/Operational/Logistical Issues (creative, collaborative problem-solving)
  •   Monitor impacts to department operations with an emphasis on utility infrastructure (power usage, water, transportation).
  •   In coordination with all ESF-6 partners, monitor, report and address condition and concerns of vulnerable populations
  •   Have Health Department report number of medical-related heat incidents.
  •   When identified locations for getting cool are not opened, provide a list of publicly known air-conditioned locations and facilities to first responders (Police, Fire and Department of Neighborhoods and Parks) who may interface with the community
  •  Determine location and need for Cooling Center operations, and monitor status and usage
  •  Actively promote employee worker safety messages – preparedness, medications, etc.


  • Conduct Hotwash……………………………………………………………….OEM & All Departments
  • Disseminate After Action Report/Improvement Plan instructions……..OEM & All Departments
  • Demobilize and notify DMC, Dept Directors, appropriate agencies ... OEM & All Departments

Department Operations Centers and Emergency Operations Center

  • Prepare costs and documentation .... OEM & All Departments

Anticipate of federal/state cost recovery

  • Notify the public and agencies of return to normal service .............. OEM & All Departments
Platforms & Programs