Keeping Cool With Jane Gilbert, Chief Heat Officer, Miami-Dade County

Take It To The Board with Donna DiMaggio Berger

Mar 9 2022 • 42 mins


It’s common knowledge that Florida is one of the hottest markets in the U.S. – whether you’re considering a personal lifestyle upgrade or a new environment for your business. But that influx of people and industry, coupled with the state’s numerous sunny days, is a recipe for an extreme heat event and can spell disaster for an unprepared infrastructure.

Host Donna DiMaggio Berger and featured guest Jane Gilbert – the world’s first Chief Heat Officer – explore the dangers posed by extreme heat in highly urbanized areas and discuss how municipalities around the world are collaborating on solutions to protect both present-day and future communities.

Highlights include:

  • How Jane’s recent experience as a Chief Resiliency Officer prepared her to serve as the first-ever Chief Heat Officer and what this new role means for communities in Florida and beyond;
  • Defining the ‘urban heat island’ and how the green street vision for Miami-Dade helps reduce this;
  • Why awareness of the risk associated with extreme heat needs to be increased and whether naming heat waves would emphasize the importance of safety during rising temperatures;
  • How community association boards can adjust governing documents to encourage energy efficient practices – green spaces, reflective roof surfaces, upgraded A/C units, indoor/outdoor lighting choices, building weatherization, etc.;
  • Strategies when considering how to address the disproportionate impact of heat waves on already vulnerable communities, including seniors on fixed incomes, socio-economically disadvantaged, etc.;
  • Expansion of existing directives to ensure evacuation shelters have adequate backup power for cooling in the event of a widespread outage;
  • The connection between extreme heat and rising sea levels, and how Florida has integrated its climate action strategies to address both;
  • How community associations, local businesses, and incoming corporations can collaborate with Jane’s office to identify ways to protect outdoor workers in the construction, tourism, trade & logistics, public safety industries; and so much more.

BONUS: Donna and Jane share a little about what to expect from the county’s three-year action plan, scheduled for release in May 2022 and recommend viewing the Miami-Dade County’s Extreme Heat Toolkit for ways you can stay safe in South Florida.