Increased preparedness in Kristianstad for coming heat waves

  • Case studie
  • Heat waves
  • Health

Extremely high temperatures will become more and more common in Sweden in the future, and the south will experience the hottest of it. Therefore, in December 2014, Kristianstad Municipality adopted a contingency plan for heat waves. The Municipality has now made an inventory of premises within healthcare and social care, and developed an action plan for food management in connection with the occurrence of heat waves.

After northeast Skåne conducted an exercise where a simulated heat wave was included as a part of it, the Kristianstad Municipality decided that a contingency plan for such heat waves was needed. It was introduced near the end of 2014, and since then the Municipality has engaged in efforts to implement the preventive measures adopted in the in the contingency plan.

Inventory of the premises belonging to the social care administration

Pursuant to the contingency plan, an inventory has been conducted to detect high temperatures in apartments in group housing and old age homes. Some 1,200 thermometers were read in as many spaces twice a day during a very hot week. Remedial measures for the rooms or apartments which were considered to be too hot consisted of portable air conditioners and new ventilation holes in the walls. These adaptation measures are regarded as being provisional, as now with the new construction of buildings, that functional air conditioning is placed in the group housing and old age homes is ensured most of the time.

The contingency plan also includes suggestions for making an inventory of premises and outdoor spaces in search of cool places where people rest during hot days.

Refrigeration systems for food distribution

In connection with the development of heat-wave contingency plans, an action plan was also produced for how the kitchen staff should respond during a heat wave. These kitchens purchase, prepare, and deliver food to people registered with Kristianstad’s healthcare and social care services. The action plan includes suggestions to the kitchens as to for cooking on what type of food is best in the event of high temperature levels and when the food should be eaten. The transport of food is critical as there are clear requirements concerning what temperatures the food should be kept at. Staff working during the summer are informed about the action plan, but at the same time there are regular staff also on-site throughout the summer.

More examples of climate adaptation

This is one of many examples of climate adaptation. There are more in the collection of ideas being built up by the Swedish National Knowledge Centre for Climate Change Adaptation at the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI). The collection of examples has the aim of sharing experiences and providing ideas to everyone who works with climate adaptation. Examples describe concrete measures and challenges in several subject areas. They show how different actors have worked to adapt their activities to the climate changes that are already being noticed today and those that we cannot prevent in the future.