The DC team obtained a list of 9-1-1 calls from March 2010 to March 2015 to determine the locations with the greatest density of heat-related incidents in the District.
While evaluating the 9-1-1 data, the team discovered that most of the 9-1-1 calls are not being recorded by emergency operators as heat-related incidents. Rather, some of the 9-1-1 calls are being categorized as either respiratory or cardiac-related incidents. Going forward, the team will focus on reviewing only the incidents categorized as heat-related in the 9-1-1 data.
Another challenge is that key demographic information was not included in the 9-1-1 data, limiting the ability of the team to determine which populations and/or areas are most at risk from the elevated summer temperatures. However, the DC project team intends to move forward by collecting the needed demographic information. Once the demographic data collection is finalized, the team will take the 9-1-1 data and overlay it on a heat sensitivity map. The demographic data will also be taken and overlaid with site-specific information, such as green space and tree canopy, to identify three areas of the district that lack green space and are experiencing higher rates of heat-related incidents.
The team was able to perform urban heat island mapping using specific variables for their study. The results showed negative and positive correlations between several pairs of variables. The next step in the mapping will be to decide how to combine the variables into a heat index.
The DC team anticipates making significant progress toward the three key components for this project by August:
- Creating a vulnerability map;
- Overlaying climate and 9-1-1 onto the vulnerability map;
- Creating a map with demographic data to better assess the vulnerable areas exposed to extreme heat.
Stay tuned for more details from the DC project team!