Beat the Heat

Call for Applications - Beat the Heat Program for Local Governments

With temperatures increasing across Indiana, Hoosiers are becoming more familiar with the risks of extreme heat, which include heat-related illness and death.

To help local governments develop and implement heat relief strategies and response protocols, ERI and the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA) are launching the “Beat the Heat” program in Spring 2021. The goal of the program is to create sustainable, long-term projects, programs, and educational materials that help residents cope with hot days and the public health impacts associated with heat.

Beginning in May 2021, two local governments will be selected to participate in the two-year program, with each participant receiving funding for a full-time heat management coordinator. In consultation with ERI, the coordinators will:

  • Provide technical assistance in data collection and processing;
  • Develop marketing and educational materials;
  • Outline community engagement techniques; and
  • Develop and implementing heat relief strategies.

Each community will receive hospital and emergency management services data related to how hot days impact residents’ health as well as a map of the community’s vulnerable populations.

Questions about the “Beat the Heat” program can be submitted to or the ERI hotline: 833-ERI-ATIU (374-2848).

Learn more about the program

Description of the video:

>> All right. We're going to go ahead and get started right now. Thank you very much for joining us today. I think we're all excited to do the overview of this brand new program. I am Matt Wakefield and the CDBG, Program Manager at the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs.

I'm joined by my counterparts today, Dana and Andrea. Andrea, if you'd like to go ahead and introduce yourself.
>> Sure. Thanks, Matt. So my name is Andrea Webster. I'm the implementation manager at I use environmental resilience Institute. My day to day job is to work with local governments around the state to help them improve their resilience and I will be the program manager for this project.

I'm excited to work with all of you.
>> Dana.
>> Hi, everyone. I'm Dana Habeeb. I'm an assistant professor at Indiana University and the Department of informatics and my backgrounds in environmental planning and urban design with a focus on urban climatology really understanding how the built environment can impact climate change and community health.

I'm the PI for the Beat the Heat Program and I'm really looking forward to working with communities in Indiana.
>> Thank you all. And I know as I've previously alluded too, this is a very exciting program has been a while in the making. It was a great partnership and I think we're excited to see what we can do to help address heat and climate in Indiana from a rural community standpoint.

So with that said, I am going to cover very briefly from the Ocra side and the CDBG side eligibility. And what that means from an Ocra perspective. So for this, as see on the slide here CDBG eligibility through Ocra is only two small communities and will not cover HUD entitlement communities.

So here is a brief list of the communities who are not eligible to receive the funds. Or to, be beneficiaries of the funds directly. The other questions that we get as well in previously is, will this fill up a Ocra CDBG slot? So communities are only eligible to have two open grants or three, if you're a County, because this is a pilot and will be directly funded by the Environmental Resilience Institute.

This will not fill up one of those Ocra CDBG slots for the community. If you have any direct questions about your eligibility or questions of eligibility. I'm going to stay on through the entire presentation. So if you have questions at the end please do ask them there. But right now I'm gonna throw it over to Dana because her time is far more limited than mine.

And she's gonna walk you through some of the next slides and some other questions about the program.
>> Hi, everyone. It's great to have you all here today. As Matt said, I'm Dana Habeeb and I'm the PI for the program. We are so excited to be working with communities in Indiana, to really work with communities to manage extreme heat.

Extreme heat is a really important public health problem. We see in the United States that more people die to extreme heat than all other natural disasters combined, and extreme heat events are projected to increase across the state of Indiana over the next several decades. So it was important for communities to really begin to start planning now.

The ERI did a readiness assessment analysis, and found that heat is a place that communities really aren't preparing for. And so this is a great opportunity to really work hand in hand with researchers at Indiana University, with the state and with local communities, to really tailored strategies and approaches really targeted to address extreme heat events.

One thing that we see across extreme heat response plans is that one size plan doesn't fit everyone. And it is important that we really understand communities work with communities understand their different exposure levels, as well as understand their different populations in their communities and residents and what makes them particularly vulnerable to extreme heat.

And help them work to target and develop strategies that are really fit for individual communities, and really target your specific population. So we're really excited to really put together a very holistic plan of looking through and addressing extreme heat and working hand in hand with communities to really develop those that are tailored for your community.

So I'm gonna turn it over to Andrea now to really go over more the program overview. But please feel free to reach out to me with any questions and I look forward to working with communities in the future.
>> All right. Thanks, Dana. And I'll reiterate that if you have any questions we are going to save questions for the end.

But we encourage you to go ahead and stick them in the chat while we're talking and then there'll be lined up for us to just go answer your questions right at the very end. So we are recording this webinar today and we are gonna post it online in case your colleagues missed this and they were hoping to watch the webinar today.

That should be posted later this week we do add closed captioning and so that takes a little bit of processing time but it should be up by Thursday or Friday at the latest. In the meantime, certainly don't hesitate to reach out to me as you have questions and my contact will be available on our last slide.

So before we get started I wanna on into the details of the programme. I want to give you a brief overview of the environmental resilience Institute at Indiana University in case you have not encountered us before. So we launched in 2017. We're part of Indiana University's Grand Challenges programme.

So Michael Mughrabi, our President decided that he wanted to give back to the state. And so he established this grand challenges program to help the state solve some big, hairy, complex challenges dealing with environmental resilience is one of them. And so we have a number of programs that support local governments across the state.

And this is just our latest one, so we hope that you'll find out for our newsletters, if you're interested. And we hope to see your application for this program nonetheless. So, for the heat program, the general overview is that we are recruiting non entitlement communities in Indiana to try to increase their resilience, to heat across the state.

And so we want our residents to be prepared for the increasing temperatures that we're experiencing. And we know that some of our residents are more able to deal with those increasing temperatures than others. And so we particularly want to help our most vulnerable residents across the state. And we'll go more into detail about what that means.

But in general, we will be providing two communities with a full-time staff person or funding for a full-time staff person. The actual local governments will do the hiring and that person will be paid by the local government. But we will be reimbursing you for those funds. And that'll be a full time staff person for two years.

You'll have some extra funding to do some program activities, to help residents manage increasing temperatures, and will of course provide you with plenty of technical assistance and guidance. We will require our participating local governments to contribute $7500, that fee will be required to be paid this summer, or maybe even this spring.

We're still working out the timing of that with our third party contractor, but we'll, I'll explain more of that later. And then of course, you'll need to complete some activities, that help your communities manage. These increasing temperatures, and hot days and nights, and the application is due March 26th, it's a Friday, next Friday.

And, so we hope to see your application. All right, so I'm gonna start by going over the activities, and timelines, then I'll go over the program benefits. I'll talk a little bit about the specifics on funding, I'm sure you guys have a few questions about, that and the local government requirements.

And then at the end, I'll go over the details of the application process. So the program will kick off in May, and we'll spend May, and June really getting set up, for the summer. Because all the hot temperatures are coming over the summer, that's the key part, so it will start in May of 2021.

We'll hold a kickoff webinar to get everybody situated. And we'll do a press release announcing our participants, and the local governments during this time, we'll be establishing a local heat relief task force. So that task force should be have representation from youth, and from vulnerable populations. And we have a whole we'll help you figure out, who needs to be on that task force, that task force will meet probably will definitely regularly over the two year period.

Once a month or every other month we'll determine that as we go. And also during the May to June period, you will be hiring your full-time heat relief coordinator. So that's the full-time staff person, that I mentioned earlier. So we really hope that, a person could be hired by June 1st, which is a pretty tight turnaround.

Applications are due March 26th, we hope to start working with communities that we sewed the two communities we select mid-April. And so you'll have about six weeks, or so to really get that person on board, and hired and started working for your local government. And then we'll also during that time, host a marketing campaign about the program within your local communities.

You can educate your residents about what you're getting into over the next couple of months, and what they can expect. Or I should say over the next couple of years, all right, so that's phase one. Phase two will start in July and last two through November of this year.

So throughout the entire program, your eye is gonna be hosting educational webinars, and what we call round-robins. So round-robins is where we're gonna get our two communities, on the phone, or on a zoom call, just like this. You have a chance to update on what you've accomplished, and what questions you have, what challenges you're encountering.

We'll all brainstorm together as a team for solutions, and try to find solutions elsewhere, if we can't find them within our team. So that'll just be a way for us, to learn from each other, as we continue throughout the program. But the majority of this July through November period of phase two, is for a community needs assessment.

So we're gonna spend the first summer, and a little more, trying to figure out how your residents, are currently dealing with high temperatures. So to do that, we're gonna have focus groups, we're gonna talk to vulnerable populations. We're gonna talk to the health professionals, in your community to see what they're experiencing, and what they're seeing.

We'll talk to some youth groups, some outdoor workers. If you have farmworkers in your community, that would be a good population to talk to, you will also do some public meetings we'll have a heat vulnerability comment survey. So it's comments RV is really just like a questionnaire you, I will provide a template that you can work from.

Where you wanna just ask a bunch of questions about how they deal with heat, and then we'll do some community heat management observation. So you'll, get your Lawn chair sit on a street corner in a park, will identify some locations. And just watch residents are dealing with the high temperatures, and you'll take some notes.

This could be the staff person, that does this that you hire, or it could be some volunteers from the community, or even some other local government staff. So we'll work through that together. So ESRI is gonna be collecting hospital, and emergency management data through a third party, that holds that data, and so we will provide that to you.

And we will work together to figure out, what is the, heatwave weather determination, so what really constitutes a heatwave for your community? That really varies depending on your location, what's considered really hot for where you live, and where your residents live. So we'll work through that, and then your eye is also going to develop a vulnerable population map using US census data.

I would hope we could use the US the most recent census data, I'm not sure if it will be available in time probably will not. But we will certainly use that if it is available, we'll put together a local temperature map, I'll discuss the details of that on the next slide.

And then if you haven't already, we'll have you complete the Hoosier Resilience Index readiness assessment. And then we'll take all of this information, and then both the Environmental Resilience Institute staff. And the local government staff will work together to create a little report that says, what are our community needs.

And so you're gonna take all the information that you've collected over the summer, and pull that together in one assessment. So you can understand where changes need to take place. All right, so this is a little bit about the local temperature map. So how this works is that, we are gonna be working with third party called Kappa strategies.

And they've done this in many communities both large, and small across the United States. Believe the map you're seeing here is Portland, this is just a snapshot I took off of their website. They've done it in Cincinnati recently, they've certainly been in the Midwest. I don't believe they've done any of these maps in Indiana yet, so they're excited to work with us on that.

But how this works is that you're gonna, get a bunch of volunteers together in your community. And Kappa strategy is gonna lay out a grid, and routes. And, so there's gonna be cars, and there's gonna be bikes, and people walking, carrying heat sensors. That's gonna just capture the data for your routes, and then Kappa strategies is gonna compile all of that, into a map.

And this you're gonna know that volunteers are gonna drive their routes three times during one day. So it's just a one-day event, so they're gonna do it in the morning, and the afternoon, and then the evening. And using these three maps, you can see how temperatures change in your community throughout the day.

And then we can overlay that, with the population vulnerability map to see where your most vulnerable residents are living, and compare that to where temperatures are. Now I will put a little Asterix on that, because if you're from a very small community, we're using US Census data. So we're looking at census tracts, and so the smaller your community is the less useful that.

Vulnerable population data is, but we'll work with you on that we'll work through it. But we expect this to be very helpful, to try to figure out, help you figure out where you need to place heat management strategies. And projects and programs in your community, physically from a map by looking at a map okay, so that was that will take us through November of 2021.

So starting in December, through March of next year, we're gonna be putting together a heat management strategy, and so we'll start by Drafting that strategy based on the community needs assessment, we'll get community input on what we've drafted. And we'll think about program continuity, is this something that can just happen once and be done with, or is it something that needs to that happen regularly every year?

And who's gonna manage that every year? Cuz of course the funding of this is great, but it's just two years. So we wanna make sure that this will be useful for you in the long term. And then of course, we'll publish it and this is not meant to be a really comprehensive 50 page document what we really wanna see is just a five to ten page document, max.

That lists short term projects and long term projects and specifically when I say short term I wanna see projects that can be completed in 2022. Next we wanna complete those for summer 2022. All right, and then finally during this period, we're gonna design, and finalize a heat wave response protocol.

So the best way for me to explain this is to get you all to think about when a snowstorm comes, the your local governments, and the weather channel, and everybody kinda knows how to act when there is a snowstorm coming, they go to the store, they get milk, they get bread.

There's a winter weather advisory people are told not to be on the streets. The salt trucks go out the snowplows go out, there's a whole operation protocol for that. But I'm guessing your communities do not have a response protocol for when a heat wave is coming. And there are also as we heard from Dana earlier, there are health implications real health implications for people when they're experiencing heat especially if they don't have air conditioning in their home, if they're keeping their windows close, and they don't have air conditioning at home and a myriad of other factors.

So, we'll work through developing that's sort of an internal process document for your local government, and then maybe we work with some community members and community organizations on that too. All right, so that takes us into phase 4, which is the heat management strategy implementation. So this is summer to summer of 2022.

So during this time we're going to be designing and distributing educational materials, we could even design these materials earlier if there's time. Hopefully there will be So we can get those out in advance of the summer season for summer 2022. And so there will be implementing that heat management strategy.

So everything that you included in that document, not everything but just the short term pieces we'll try to implement during the April October season. And so what's included in that strategy is really gonna be dependent on what your community needs assessment shows. But I think some things we'll definitely want to see are programs that allow you to work with vulnerable populations directly.

We want to see you hosting training sessions for local health professionals and emergency management staff. We assume that they know all the stuff they need to know but maybe they don't. And so we should, but we'll we'll figure that out as we hold our focus groups with them and, and sort of figure out what's the best way to work with them to make sure that they're doing the most they can to protect your residence.

We'll also investigate opportunities for suspending utility shut offs. Of course, we've had a lot of practice with that this year with COVID and in 2020, so maybe we all have a leg up on that already, but we should at least look into it and see if it's possible and if the local government can set aside a fund or maybe there's a community organization that can set aside a fund that goes on top of the funding that's already available for residents.

Because we know that as temperatures increase, energy bills are getting much worse and that energy burden if you've heard that term before, is much, much heavier. And so we wanna make sure there are extra resources for these communities, and especially these residents that are most vulnerable. Because, again the end of the day, we really want to prevent those heat related illnesses.

We also hope that if you're not already that you'll publish a list of public cooling centers, implement a couple climate responsive design projects. I'll go over what those are on the next slide. And then any other projects that you identify that would be really good for your community.

You may be thinking of some already you may know of some already that are happening in your community, encourage you to include those in your application if you know what those are already. All right, so that's phase 4. So some example, heat relief projects include planting shade trees along hot walking routes, using vertical shading at bus stop, which helps when the sun is traveling throughout the sky along the day.

If there's vertical shading, there's more likely to be some shading folks can access it no matter what time of day it is. Tree planting is expensive, so it's nice to have funds for those. So when we're thinking about what do we do to help a community and help residents manage heat, there are three main overarching strategies.

So one is adding greenery. So green things plants trees, they use evapo-transpiration as part of their living process. And that puts moisture back into the air and they offer shade and so they really can cool down space. So I think you guys have not probably noticed this if you are hiker and it's a really hot day and you go into the woods it just feels so much cooler there than it does in other places.

So, that's one strategy and so there's lots of ways to do that throughout a community. And then another strategy is just cooling. And so I think a good example of this is in the summertime when we were black outfit we're much hotter than when we wear a white outfit and we're standing in the sun.

And so the same goes with white roofs and black roofs for example. So a building is going to absorb less heat if it has a white roof on it than it does if it has a black roof so that white roof is gonna reflect that heat back up.

So it's not absorbed by the building and the building does not need to cool down as much doesn't need as much energy to try to cool itself down and the reason why that is important is because the third strategy and trying to reduce the heat that can build up especially in more developed areas is waste heat.

So there are two sources of waste heat. One source is coming from vehicles so if you have a gasoline or diesel powered vehicle, then there's a lot of heat coming off of that engine and it comes out that tailpipe. And when that's concentrated, you think it would just dispersed right but it really does contribute to the temperatures that you feel in a developed area.

The second type of waste heat is that waste heat that comes off of a building. And so there are outputs on ventilation systems in buildings where they're, you know, they're cooling down on the inside, they're pushing hot air out. And so then that is gonna make the downtown feel a little bit warmer otherwise so all these things add up.

And so there's lots of ways we can try to change the design of your downtown communities or some policies to make the communities not quite as hot physically. The actual temperatures that folks experience and just to help people manage the temperatures that already are there. All right, so, activities done timeline continued.

So phase 5 the last phase of the program is gonna take place from November 2022 till April 2023. Again, we'll continue with educational webinars and round-robins. We're gonna run another comment survey. So we're doing one before we get started and one after we get started. So through this we'll get a sense of what the community residents have learned and about what they can do to deal with high temperatures.

We'll collect, hoping I'm not 100% certain of this yet, but we're still exploring whether that hospital and emergency management data will already be available for summer 2022 by spring 2023 I hope so. And then we can compare that to what we obtained earlier on. And so we'll use all this information to really evaluate the results of the heat management strategy and what you've accomplished.

And we'll finalize those continuity plans. So as the funding is running out for your full time stuff, your local government want to think whether they have funding to keep that person on staff or whether the heat management task force can stay in place and try to manage those programs or whether there's some other mechanism or program to make them continue to allow them to continue.

All right, so that's an overview of the project. When we think about what a successful project look like, I think one of our big goals for this program is that I mean, this really isn't meant to be a pilot. This is the first time the Environmental Resilience Institute or really any organization or state agency that I know of in Indiana has worked with local governments to help them manage high temperatures.

And so we want to take what's successful out of this program and try to replicate it or share it with other local governments. So that's really a key piece. So with that we do plan to have some measurements integrated into the program, one being that heat vulnerability comments survey.

We'll use the before and after that to figure that out. We'll use the emergency management and hospital data before and after if we can declare to see how successful the program was. We'll look at just the addition of projects that if you have more green space then certainly your downtown's and your developed areas are going to be cooler than they were otherwise.

So we'll use all these things to really measure how successful the program went and will of course get your feedback as a local government and how you felt it went. And that will, of course, be a key piece. All right, so program benefits. So, throughout the two years you will receive plenty of technical assistance from Indiana University's, Environmental Resilience Institute.

We'll also be running a lot of data processing and analysis on your behalf. We'll be coaching you on program activities and pointing you to resources. l know that we're getting you funding of course we're a full time staff, and some program activities. Of course, the funding that we have won't be able to cover all of that.

So you might start thinking about where you can get other funding to cover those activities. But we'll, of course send grant opportunities we see your way, but you'll want to look at local opportunities that you hear of too. We'll be providing you with this hospital emergency management services data, we'll be providing you with the vulnerability map, we'll cover the partial cost of that local heat map, that local temperature map.

But the local governments will be asked to cover $7500 of that of that cost. And then we'll also provide access to written Spanish translation if that's of use to you if you have members of Spanish speaking members in your community. Alright, so for funding, so each participating local government of which there will be two will receive up to $121,940 over the course of two years.

That will fund one full time, local government staff person for two years. We estimated that at $40,000 a year as a salary plus benefits. And we estimated that at 30% for benefits. So which may differ from local government, but we will work with you determine what is more accurate for you.

And then the leftover funding which we expect to be around 15 or $16,000 would go towards program activities. So ways to spend that money would be on marketing, in supplies, in educational materials, in-person Spanish translation. Offering childcare services for public events. I know we're in the middle of a pandemic, but it does seem like it is coming to a close at least I'm hopeful that it is in the next, at least towards the end of this year.

And so if there's an opportunity for us to do in person events and childcare can be helpful to get residents from vulnerable populations to attend. We definitely want to offer that, of course we'll use that funding towards heat relief project implementation and then other costs is approved. That just needs to be, well it just need to be related to heat management in your community.

All right so, this slide provides an outline of what your local government would be required to contribute towards the program. Of course, you'll be asked to complete the outline program activities that we've described today. You'll need to contribute $7,500 towards the cost of the local temperature map. We'll ask that you try to identify additional funding to implement heat relief projects.

And of course, I know you can't guarantee that right, but we ask that you try to find that funding. And then we also want you to give at least two presentations on the program to an audience outside of your jurisdiction. So that can be an AIM conference, that could be in Association for Indiana Counties conference.

That could be a Center for Rural Engagement conference in the state of Indiana. Or another type of conference that you feel like could be useful. So the application process as you've heard several times from us today. The applications are due March 26th. Just at midnight, we want to make sure that those are in by the end of the day Friday.

The application that you'll submit is an online application. But online there's a place where you can download a PDF of the application. So you can see the questions in advance and you can start drafting your essays. We design application intentionally so that's pretty light. We understand this is a quick turnaround on this program.

And so it just has 11 short essay questions that are no longer than 250 words each, some are just 50 words each. So we tried to make this not very painful, but that will still give us enough information to be able to select our successful applicants. Okay, so what makes a good application?

So we intend to give preference to communities with a high proportion of residents that are vulnerable to high temperatures. So when I say, who are the community members that are vulnerable, I'm specifically talking about people of color, low income folks, youth, maybe who speak Spanish as their primary language.

People over the age of 65. Outdoor workers, farm workers are always very vulnerable to these high temperatures when they're out there all day long. Youth especially that are playing sports outdoors. And of course, individuals with pre existing conditions that make them at a higher risk for experiencing a heat related illness.

All right, to continue down our list of what makes a good application, the next thing I'll mention is that we wanna see that your community has a demonstrated ability to identify funding for community projects and identify volunteers for community projects. And we also wanna see that you have a commitment to increasing residents awareness for increasing temperatures and heat waves And we also wanna see that you have a strong commitment to continuity to the projects and programs that get up and running during the two year period so that they last beyond the two year grant cycle.

Okay, and as I mentioned earlier, so the application is due March 26th, and then we hope to be able to select some final applicants by the middle of April. So, if you are selected you'll hear from us around then. Okay, well now I would like to open it up for questions so you can feel free.

There's not too many of us on the call today, so feel free to unmute yourself and ask a question or you can type it into the chat. All right, I guess we offered a lot of descriptions, in our presentation slides. All right, I'll be quiet for a couple more minutes.

And then if there are no questions we can wrap up, but I'll give you guys a little bit more time to think about that. All right, so we had one question pop into the chat. It says, when will the presentation be available offline? So we will submit that today, it usually takes about two days for processing.

The soonest it'll be up on Wednesday, but I would guess maybe Thursday or Friday at the latest. So we can send an email out to everybody that registered today to let them know that there's a recording available. And we'll probably send another mass email out to our local government email list.

To make sure everybody is aware that they can still catch it even if they weren't able to attend today. And that will be posted on YouTube. And so we'll provide a YouTube link for that. So it won't be offline but it'll be online but of course not live.

All right, so and our next question is, can we revisit who is eligible to apply? So I'm just gonna go back to that slide. Let's see if I can
>> And so that slide will show you who is not eligible. But eligibility will be to local cities, towns, or counties.

Who are eligible for over a CDBG funding? So non federal communities must be a city town or county.
>> Yeah, and we are really excited to work with some of the smaller communities in Indiana. I know a lot of funding often goes towards those large cities in the state and it's really hard for the smaller communities to compete against those larger cities with more resources.

So I'm so excited to see all of your applications. It will say we also have our the environmental resilience institute's finance manager on the call today. So if you have any questions about how the funding will work, we also are will be able to answer those today too.

Yes, good question, Tara. We can make the slides available as well. So we'll post those on the beat the heat program site as well. And well I guess I can send out a link to where those will be posted. All right, well, if there are no more questions, we can wrap up today.

So I really appreciate your attendance and your interest in our program. We're really excited that to make this happen, I can say on a personal note that when I started with the environmental resilience Institute in 2017, as soon as we got started, I immediately started looking into ways that we could just give money directly to a local government.

And we finally made that happen. I worked for the city of Louisville, Kentucky for three or four years. And I know getting grant funding, it's always the best just to get the money directly or indirectly through reimbursements or whatever it needs to be, but I know how under resourced local governments can be.

And so we're really excited to have this program where we're giving you a staff person essentially and giving you some funds to make some changes in your communities. So I'm really looking forward to seeing your applications. And please do not hesitate to contact me, if you have any questions you can reach me via email or phone and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

Whoops, there we go. There's my contact information as well as Dana's and I hope you guys have a good rest of your day. Thank you once again, and take care.