California Releases Draft Extreme Heat Action Plan to Protect Communities Across the State

Published Date:

Public Invited to Provide Input on Draft During January 24 Public Comment Workshop

SACRAMENTO — With climate change driving greater extremes in weather, the California Natural Resources Agency and Governor’s Office of Planning and Research, together with state agency partners, today released a draft Extreme Heat Action Plan to protect communities around the state. This action plan outlines a strategic and comprehensive set of state actions to adapt and build resilience to extreme heat.

California’s best climate science projects that every corner of the state will be impacted in years and decades to come by higher average temperatures and more frequent and severe heat waves. Extreme heat threatens public health and safety, economic prosperity, and communities and natural systems, with profoundly disproportionate consequences for the most vulnerable Californians.

The development of the draft action plan was initiated through the state’s 2021 update to California’s Climate Adaptation Strategy, during which the need for an up-to-date comprehensive, interagency approach to extreme heat was identified early on. To meet this need, the state committed to updating the 2013 report “Preparing California for Extreme Heat Guidance and Recommendations.”

The substance and organization of the Extreme Heat Action Plan was guided by extensive public engagement. In addition to input received through ten regional workshops and numerous consultations with California Native American tribes, the state held an Extreme Heat Workshop Series to gather recommendations on priority state actions and areas of focus for the action plan. The final workshops in this series will be held on January 24, 2022 to solicit feedback on this draft.  

The draft action plan identifies existing and recommended state actions to address extreme heat, and identifies eight areas of near-term focus:

  • Implementing a statewide public health monitoring system to identify heat illness events early, monitor trends, and track illnesses and deaths.
  • Cooling schools in heat-vulnerable communities and support for climate-smart planning.
  • Accelerating heat readiness and protection of low-income households and expanding tree canopy in communities most impacted by extreme heat.   
  • Protecting vulnerable populations through increased heat risk-reduction strategies and codes, standards, and regulations. 
  • Building a climate-smart workforce through training partnerships and apprenticeships in jobs and careers that address extreme heat.
  • Increasing public awareness to reduce risks posed by extreme heat.
  • Supporting local and regional extreme heat action.
  • Protecting natural systems, including fish and wildlife, from the impacts of extreme heat. 

Information on how to provide feedback on the draft through the final workshops in our Extreme Heat Workshop Series can be found here:


The California Natural Resources Agency’s mission is to restore, protect and manage the state's natural, historical and cultural resources for current and future generations using creative approaches and solutions based on science, collaboration and respect for all the communities and interests involved.

The Governor’s Office of Planning and Research serves as the California’s Comprehensive Planning Agency. OPR studies future research and planning needs, fosters goal-driven collaboration, and delivers guidance to state partners and local communities, with a focus on land use and community development, climate risk and resilience, and high road economic development.