B.C. hospitals became dangerously hot and equipment failed during heat dome: report
The province should prioritize spending that protects critical infrastructure from disruptions caused by extreme heat after hospitals became dangerously hot and had critical equipment failures during the 2021 heat dome, according to a report commissioned by the B.C. government.
The investments include building electricity systems that are resilient to rapidly rising demand, recommends the new report, The Case for Adapting to Extreme Heat: Costs of the 2021 B.C. Heat Wave, authored by the non-profit Canadian Climate Institute.
While there were no widespread power failures, local heat-related electrical breakdowns suggest the potential for major system disruption, says the report. Not only will this have major economic implications for utilities and businesses, but it creates the risk that air conditioners, heat pumps, chillers and fans will not have the power to run when people need them most, said the report’s authors.
“The challenge of adapting to climate change overall is changing our mindset, recognizing that the things that worked in the past may not work in the future,” report co-author Ryan Ness said.