Heat Vulnerability

The Heat Vulnerability Project is working in collaboration with the Department of Communities and Health to better understand and address high heat across Western Australia.  The National Disaster Risk Reduction (NDRR) funded Heat Vulnerability Project will map high heat risk regions against heat-vulnerable populations across WA. It has identified three pilot sites and engages partners and support services to provide heat interventions to vulnerable populations across WA. The project evaluation report will provide recommendations to prevent unnecessary heatwave deaths and health implications across WA that can also be applied by other jurisdictions.

The project has engaged with expertise from across a wide range of groups, institutions, and departments including the Aboriginal Health Council of Western Australia, the Bureau of Meteorology, the Climate Justice Union, Departments of Communities, Fire and Emergency Services, Health, and Water and the Environment, University of Curtin, Linkwest, and independent experts.

To learn more about how to protect you and your loved ones from high heat, read Department of Health’s heat advice advice Heatwaves – be prepared for extreme heat (healthywa.wa.gov.au)

The Heat Vulnerability Project Strategic Reference Group.

Project Structure

Heat Vulnerability Map

The Project will use existing research and analysis to create an interactive geo-spatial map that identifies regions with high heat risk and heat-vulnerable populations in Western Australia. The Project will map a range of vulnerabilities to high heat in Western Australia by geographic region, taking population demographics into account. This will be done by overlaying regions of high heat with levels of sensitivity and adaptive capacity (see definitions) to determine levels of heat vulnerability. This interactive map(s) can then be used by decision-makers, planners, advocates, and local community members to inform community activities.

Community organisations and local government participants at a workshop in Rockingham.

Pilot Sites

The Project will work with three diverse pilot sites across WA to introduce heat adaptation actions based on a co-design method of engaging with community partners. A series of recommendations will be developed for communities to consider, this project will use co-design methods to ensure activities are useful for local communities. One recommendation to the pilot sites will be to map existing buildings and community centres to identify their suitability as fit-for-purpose cool spaces. Appropriate community locations may include existing evacuation centres, community centres, schools or other identified buildings.

Subscribe to the Resilience Broadcast

We share updates on disaster preparedness and resilience across Western Australia via our Resilience Broadcast, this includes updates about the project. Read and download previous editions via the links below.

Previous editions of the Resilience Broadcast


Feeling the Heat: Stories and Strategies for WA’s Rising Temperatures

This webinar, hosted by WACOSS and the Conservation Council of WA’s Go Beyond Gas movement, discusses the health and social impacts of climate-fuelled high heat and heatwaves and strategic methods of adaption and mitigation.

Read and download this supporting resource to help you and other in getting prepared for High Heat events.

Recording of this webinar took place on Thursday 8 February 2024.

Disaster Risk Funding 

This webinar helps give an understanding of both programs, to encourage applications from the WA Community Service Organisations and Local Governments.

Hosted in partnership and with thanks to the State Emergency Management Committee.

Recording of this webinar took place on Friday 2 November 2023.


How to be Engaged Fact Sheet

Heat Health Fact Sheet

This resource was shared at the event, Feeling the Heat: Stories and Strategies for Western Australia’s Rising Temperatures as a tool to get prepared for high heat.

Protect your health during extreme heat. 

Source: Doctors for the Environment Australia

This project has been funded by Commonwealth Funding through the National Disaster Risk Reduction Grant Programme, distributed through the State Emergency Management Committee