Extreme Heat Resilience Among Disadvantaged Communities in Stockton
Extreme heat events are becoming more common with global climate change. The general population is often unaware of the dangers posed by extreme heat events. This danger is most acute for vulnerable members of the population. This danger is heightened for disadvantaged communities, who are made vulnerable to extreme heat risks due to aging building stocks, with poor maintenance, and a lower incidence of installed air conditioning. At the same time, there are many low-cost/no-cost measures which people can adopt to protect themselves from the dangers of extreme heat. Indicia Consulting, led by principal investigator Dr. Susan Mazur-Stommen and project director Haley Gilbert, concluded a project with Rising Sun Opportunity Center to investigate extreme heat resiliency among vulnerable and disadvantaged populations.
In 2019, Rising Sun conducted 823 Green House Calls in the Stockton area of Northern California. Indicia Consulting developed questions to learn more about extreme heat risks in homes. Residents were also offered a choice to take a pledge to make a beneficial change to a behavior associated with energy, water, or heat resilience. From the data gathered during the Green House Calls, Indicia Consulting developed two composite scores to characterize and analyze households and homes: a Household Vulnerability Score, and a Home Heat Risk Score. Using these, we identified those most in need of assistance via programs to reduce home heat risk. Taxpayer dollars are thus used more effectively to reduce mortality and morbidity associated with extreme heat.