A hot topic: Defining vulnerability, capturing resilience and learning lessons to support vulnerable groups adapt and respond to extreme weather in Victoria’s capital regional district

The summer 2021 heat wave caught British Columbians and many policy-makers by surprise. This project seeks to develop a research agenda and build community-engaged research partnerships to identify ways in which service providers, private businesses, governments and individuals can support vulnerable communities to avoid negative health outcomes associated with future heat events that occur in the Capital Regional District (CRD). Guiding questions include: Who in the CRD is most vulnerable to negative health impacts related to extreme heat events? What does the experience of extreme heat look like for these vulnerable groups? What recommendations do they have for supporting other members of their group during extreme heat events? These questions will be answered through secondary and primary research. Following a community-engaged research approach, the most appropriate methodology will be determined in collaboration with service providers and individuals with lived experiences to ensure we are accounting for diverse experiences of trauma and resilience. Project outcomes will include policy recommendations, data and stories for decision-makers to craft messages and communicate with the public to avoid heat-related harm.

Team members: Kirsten Mah (Capital Regional District; Summer Goulden; City of Victoria); Kristie Signer (City of Victoria); research trainee (University of Victoria).