Heat Week 2022

Image via vox news, image description: children and adults playing in large recreational fountain

By Joshua Baker

This year, Portlander’s have grown accustomed to cloudy skies, cold mornings, and rain, with the spring having record rain showers and the Willamette river areas under flood warning. Yet, we can not forget that around this time last year, Oregon experienced a major heat dome. Temperatures in the Portland area reached a record high of 119 degrees with many experiencing heat related symptoms and illnesses. High temperatures and more extreme fire seasons are becoming more frequent and dangerous and it is essential that we become more resilient and prepared for these climate emergencies.

This year in recognition of those who lost their lives during the heat dome, the Portland Bureau of Emergency Management has partnered with others at the City, Multnomah County, and community organizations to create Heat Week; a week of events for professionals and community members including informational panels, bike rides, discussions, and reflection. There are two events that we would like to highlight:

Climate and Mental Health Panel (Monday June 27 from 6-7:30 pm)

This online event will feature three outstanding speakers working at the intersection of mental health and healing, justice, and climate: Dr Thomas Doherty, Barbara Ford, and Tyesha McCool-Riley. In the first hour of the event, the speakers will present some of their approaches on mental health, heat, and grief through a presentation and discussion format. Attendees will then have the opportunity for small group discussion and breakout groups. This event is free and open to the public with prior registration encouraged at this link.

Heat First Aid Training (Wednesday, June 29 from 6-7 pm)

This training will provide education about warning signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and stroke, and how to assist others in distress. The webinar is open to the public with optional registration and will have live captioning, ASL, and Spanish interpretation provided. More information about events and opportunities can be found on the Heat Week website. We are so excited for this opportunity to learn and grow as a community to better prepare for heat emergencies.

Image description: Orange and red background with white text event schedule, reading “Heat Week: June 26th – 30th, 2022. June 26th: Kick-off and commemoration at Leach Botanical Gardens. 1 – 5 pm, limited capacity, details to follow. June 27th: Climate and Mental Health Panel (virtual). 6 – 7:30 pm, open to the public. June 28th: Pedalpalooza ride and Action Night Picnic. Ride from Lents Park to Colonel Summers Park. 5 – 7 pm (ride) and 7 – 8:30 pm (picnic), open to the public. June 29th: Heat first aid training (virtual). 6 – 7 pm, open to the public. June 30th: Heat Week Committee Closing Discussion and Reflections. Video feed to be shared publicly on our website. For more information visit heatweek.org. Sponsored by the City of Portland, Portland Bureau of Emergency Management, the Multnomah County Health Department, and CAPA Strategies. Special thanks to other members of our organizing committee: 350PDX, Clackamas County, Familias en Accion, Families for Climate, Friends of Trees, NIHHIS, Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility, Portland Clean Energy Fund, Washington County, and Verde.