In the November/December 2023 issue of UCFS’s City Trees, Michelle Sutton, City Trees Editor, reported on strategies some communities are taking for Icing out the Heat as extreme heat bears down. The article details ways to keep urban forestry crew and staff safe when the temperatures rise, but tree care
work needs to continue. A few examples from communities in Georgia, Texas, and Louisiana include:

  • Training on how to identify the signs of heat stress.
  • Temporarily changing set policy like no-idling policies to allow workers to escape to cool vehicles.
  • Providing clothing like sun hoodies or other cooling wearable items to workers.
  • Providing accommodations to contractors that may go against standard polices or ordinances.

There was so much great information from communities that we couldn’t fit it all into City Trees.

UCFS was provided this excellent Heat Stress Risk Assessment from the City of Surrey, British Columbia. This document provides a step-by-step action plan for supervisors to assess if workers will be safe when the temperatures rise.

A second example comes from Portland, Oregon and is a Heat Safety Bulletin sent out to all Parks and Recreation workers. It provides an “in the moment” example of what to send when the temperatures rise fast and you need to get information out to staff on how to stay safe.

The Icing out the Heat story in City Trees is part of an ongoing series on the practice of urban forestry in a changing climate.