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Concern for community is one of the core co-operative principles. Here are some tips to ensure your members—especially the most vulnerable—are comfortable during heatwaves and other particularly stressful periods.

  • Provide information to members about resources within and outside the co-op (including things like our sustainability newsletter). Review your emergency plans with a focus on weather-related challenges.
  • If co-op members volunteer time for maintenance and other tasks, offer guidelines on when and where to avoid strenuous effort, particularly when exposed to direct sun.
  • Create inviting spaces
    • Indoors
      • Does your co-op have a common area? Might it offer refuge in times of extreme heat?
      • Even if other areas of the co-op lack cooling, might the co-op look at offering some cooling in the common room, for instance? (And while investigating options, perhaps check whether your common area is truly accessible to ensure that everyone can benefit from the investments the co-op makes.)
      • Have you made provisions for access to these spaces even when meetings aren’t formally planned, in a way that optimizes co-op security?
    • Outdoors
      • Well-shaded areas – whether from plants or trellises or other structures – can offer relief from the sun. Your co-op may have set aside space for a playground, but all ages can benefit from outside refuges for both physical and mental health.
      • Consider a committee that can check-in on members—especially the most vulnerable—during heatwaves and other particularly stressful periods.
      • Consider lobbying efforts to extend adaptations across the larger community and the world: encourage your governments to plant trees, add cooling centres for heat in summer (as well as shelters against the cold of winters), support retrofits for adaptations in existing non-profit housing, research new technologies, and promote extending all these kinds of measures to less wealthy parts of the nation and the world.