Guidance and resources to help North Carolina communities prepare for extreme heat.

Cover of the Heat Action Plan Toolkit for North Carolina communities

With climate change driving more frequent and intense heat events, the state's Heat Action Plan Toolkit aims to help communities adapt and build resilience to extreme heat. Primarily targeted for use by local governments, including health and emergency management departments, the toolkit focuses on approaches to reduce the human health impacts of increasing temperatures and heat waves.

Download the Toolkit (Word)

Designed for communities in North Carolina, the Heat Action Plan Toolkit includes: 

  • Background information on the importance of addressing extreme heat
  • A heat action plan template for communities
  • Guidance on how to identify groups most at risk to extreme heat in local jurisdictions
  • Recommendations for when to activate different parts of your heat action plan locally
  • Sample messaging and graphics for communicating with residents (Algunos materiales están disponibles en español.)
  • Sample checklists and protocols for cooling centers and other heat relief resources



The idea for the Heat Action Plan Toolkit arose from the state’s Regions Innovating for Strong Economies and Environment (RISE) Program. Aware of the increasing need to address the health impacts of extreme heat, stakeholders from three regions participating in the RISE Regional Resilience Portfolio Program included a heat action plan template in their respective lists of priority resilience projects. With multiple regions highlighting this project, the NC Office of Recovery and Resiliency (NCORR) sought to build a template and accompanying toolkit relevant to local governments across the state.

Development of the Heat Action Plan Toolkit was led by NCORR in partnership with the State Climate Office of North Carolina and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Carolinas Climate Adaptation Partnership, with support from the NC Department of Health and Human Services, Duke University Heat Policy Innovation Hub, National Weather Service – Raleigh Forecast Office, NC Emergency Management and the Chatham County Public Health Department.


Supplemental Materials for Heat Action

Resources are available to help local communities, organizations and individuals better anticipate and plan for extreme heat. Some of the materials are available in both English and Spanish. The list below will be regularly updated as new resources become available. 

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Indiana University Environmental Resilience Institute

Beat the Heat Community Survey (PDF)

City of Philadelphia

Sample Outreach Letter to Block Captains (PDF)

  • Note that"block captains" are residents designated to work to make their city block safe and beautiful.

Hunting Park Heat Survey (PDF)

Encuesta sobre el calor de Hunting Park (PDF)

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April 17, 2024

Navigating North Carolina’s Rising Temperatures


In April 2024, NCORR and the State Climate Office of North Carolina hosted a webinar to introduce the Heat Action Plan Toolkit and provide information on how communities can prepare for extreme heat.

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