Beat the Heat

Lucy Mellen

(765)-983-7333

lmellen@richmondindiana.gov

Heat Relief Coordinator

What is Beat the Heat?

“Beat the Heat” was a two-year program launched by Indiana University’s Environmental Resilience Institute and grant-funded by the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs. The program's central goal was to assist communities in creating tangible, long-term, and sustainable projects that help residents in dealing with an increase in hot days and the negative health impacts that accompany hotter weather.

Heat Management Plan

Throughout the Spring and Summer of 2022, the City of Richmond drafted its first Heat Management Plan. While still in its draft form, we invite you to review the plan and develop any thoughts you may have about how the City can improve it before being finalized. This plan includes 23 strategies that aim to lower air temperature in Richmond and help better prepare the community for high summer temperatures. The plan outlines strategies for implementation during the duration of the Beat the Heat program (until Spring 2023) and beyond. Click here to review the draft plan.

Summer 2022 Resources

Cooling Centers

One of the most effective measures to prevent heat-related illness is by accessing air-conditioned spaces. If you don't have air-conditioning at home or if your air-conditioning goes out during a heat wave, consider visiting one of Richmond's cooling centers! Cooling centers are public facilities that allow individuals to come in and cool off during periods of high heat. Cooling centers are vital to keeping Richmond cool.

Click here to find a map of Richmond’s Summer 2022 Cooling Centers.

Check-In Program

Due to summer 2022 being over, we are no longer accepting participants to the check-in program.

While the burden of extreme heat can be felt by everyone, some individuals are more vulnerable than others due to preexisting conditions, age, or resource access. By checking in on individuals in your community during periods of high heat, you can help prevent heat-related illness and potential death.

People who are most vulnerable to heat include young children, pregnant people, older adults, people with long-term disabilities or illness, low-income communities, communities of color, outdoor workers, and people experiencing homelessness. Some people might belong to more than one of these groups. If they live alone or are isolated from others, then they could be at even greater risk during a heat wave.

Heat Preparedness Workshop

The Heat Preparedness Workshop occurred on Thursday, August 11th.

In the Summer of 2022, Beat the Heat is collaborated with the Wayne County Health Department to host a community workshop about heat preparedness. At this workshop, individuals learned about the signs and symptoms of heat-related illness, how to treat heat-related illness, general tips for staying safe in the summer, and education about local resources.

NIXLE Inclement Weather Alerts

One of the most important ways to protect yourself from extreme heat is to know when it’s coming. To be notified before a heat wave or extreme heat event occurs, sign up for Wayne County Emergency Management’s NIXLE alerts. Click here to sign up or text 47374 to 888777

What is Beat the Heat?

“Beat the Heat” was a two-year program launched by Indiana University’s Environmental Resilience Institute and grant-funded by the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs. The program's central goal was to assist communities in creating tangible, long-term, and sustainable projects that help residents in dealing with an increase in hot days and the negative health impacts that accompany hotter weather.

Heat Management Plan

Throughout the Spring and Summer of 2022, the City of Richmond drafted its first Heat Management Plan. While still in its draft form, we invite you to review the plan and develop any thoughts you may have about how the City can improve it before being finalized. This plan includes 23 strategies that aim to lower air temperature in Richmond and help better prepare the community for high summer temperatures. The plan outlines strategies for implementation during the duration of the Beat the Heat program (until Spring 2023) and beyond. Click here to review the draft plan.

Summer 2022 Resources

Cooling Centers

One of the most effective measures to prevent heat-related illness is by accessing air-conditioned spaces. If you don't have air-conditioning at home or if your air-conditioning goes out during a heat wave, consider visiting one of Richmond's cooling centers! Cooling centers are public facilities that allow individuals to come in and cool off during periods of high heat. Cooling centers are vital to keeping Richmond cool.

Click here to find a map of Richmond’s Summer 2022 Cooling Centers.

Check-In Program

Due to summer 2022 being over, we are no longer accepting participants to the check-in program.

While the burden of extreme heat can be felt by everyone, some individuals are more vulnerable than others due to preexisting conditions, age, or resource access. By checking in on individuals in your community during periods of high heat, you can help prevent heat-related illness and potential death.

People who are most vulnerable to heat include young children, pregnant people, older adults, people with long-term disabilities or illness, low-income communities, communities of color, outdoor workers, and people experiencing homelessness. Some people might belong to more than one of these groups. If they live alone or are isolated from others, then they could be at even greater risk during a heat wave.

Heat Preparedness Workshop

The Heat Preparedness Workshop occurred on Thursday, August 11th.

In the Summer of 2022, Beat the Heat is collaborated with the Wayne County Health Department to host a community workshop about heat preparedness. At this workshop, individuals learned about the signs and symptoms of heat-related illness, how to treat heat-related illness, general tips for staying safe in the summer, and education about local resources.

NIXLE Inclement Weather Alerts

One of the most important ways to protect yourself from extreme heat is to know when it’s coming. To be notified before a heat wave or extreme heat event occurs, sign up for Wayne County Emergency Management’s NIXLE alerts. Click here to sign up or text 47374 to 888777

Heat Preparedness Toolbox

To help kick start conversations about extreme summer heat throughout the state, Beat the Heat put together a Heat-Preparedness Toolbox that includes social media (and some print) content that can be used by local governments or community organizations to increase awareness about the public health impacts of extreme heat, especially as we continue to see rising temperatures in the coming years. The Toolbox contains:

  • Heat-preparedness social media graphics, flyers, pamphlets, and posters from the NWS, EPA, CDC, and OSHA. Some of which are also offered in Spanish.
  • A week’s worth of social media content about extreme heat that is tailored to the needs and context of Indiana communities.
  • A brief “How-To” guide on using the Toolbox and a Google Form that you can complete to share your experience with us.

The Urban Heat Island in Richmond

Urban areas, such as Richmond's city center, suffer from extreme heat more than their rural landscape counterparts.  This is due to the fact that urban areas have more buildings, roads, and built infrastructure than natural/rural areas. These types of infrastructure absorb and emit heat much easier than natural/rural areas, causing those in the city's more developed regions to experience temperature differently.

Increased temperatures in urban areas are caused by the urban heat island effect. In places where green space is limited, the urban heat island effect can make daytime temperatures trend  1-7°F hotter than in outlying areas.

To explore Richmond urban heat island, click here.

Why Now?

The “Beat the Heat” program came at a critical time, as annual temperatures across the state of Indiana are rising. In recent years, the City of Richmond experiences an average of 18 extreme heat events per year. By the 2050s, this number is anticipated to be between 60 and 74 extreme heat events per year. With an increase in extreme heat events comes an increase in heat-related illnesses and even death. While heat can be assumed an everyday occurrence as the seasons change, extreme heat is actually the deadliest weather hazard in the United States, causing more harm than hurricanes, tornadoes, and flooding each year.

Extreme Heat Event predictions from Indiana University's Environmental Resilience Institute

Program Timeline

The Beat the Heat program ran from Summer 2021 to Summer 2023. During this time, the City developed a Heat Management Plan which outlined specific strategies that can be implemented to help keep the Richmond community cool and safe. The Heat Management Plan was developed following a Community Needs Assessment done in late 2021. The assessment included a community survey, focus groups, and resident interviews to better understand how the Richmond community pleasantly dealt with heat and what resources they would like to see available in the future.

Two-year Program Timeline


Hot-Spots Around Town

Pictured below are four different locations around the City of Richmond. These images were taken on August 23rd, 2021 at 9 am and 2 pm using FLIR (Forward Looking InfraRed) cameras. The FLIR cameras help show the temperature variance of various locations at two different times of the day. We chose to photograph these locations with FLIR cameras because they help to show the effects that heat has on the built environment (man-made structures and infrastructure features that play a role in human activity). Unshaded areas and darker-colored built environment features absorb heat from the sun more easily, thus causing them to hold onto heat and create areas that are hotter than those that are shaded or lightly colored. This effect impacts resident’s ability to stay cool whilst outside and can exacerbate the negative health impacts that accompany hotter weather. Small alterations to the built environment, such as lightly colored paint, trees to provide shade, and non-continuous paved areas can be great resources to cool public spaces. 

*Temperatures listed on the images are in Celsius



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2380 Liberty Ave.

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