Blazing summers, when the mercury rises 4°C to 6°C above the average and produces heat-waves in several cities and provinces between June and July, may become more frequent in coming years. Not only will there be more hot days, the spells of heat stress sweeping across much of Pakistan are likely to grow longer.The scientific consensus is that heat-waves will grow stronger and expand their geographical spread in the south, influenced by the sea surface temperature in the Indian Ocean. With rising greenhouse gases, their impact can only intensify. Though the number of people dying due to heat stress last year was half of the previous year’s toll of 2,040, the need to evolve detailed action plans at the level of provinces, districts and cities is now critical.It is encouraging that the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) is guiding provinces, in partnership with the Meteorological Department, to evolve heat action plan protocols. The response to distress caused by excessive heat has to be both speedy and professional. Europe upgraded its preparedness to handle a crisis after a crippling heat-wave in 2003 killed thousands of people, over 14,800 of them in France alone. In the Pakistani context, crop failures and disruption of electricity supply due to sudden peak demand are common. People experience dehydration, heat cramps and deadly heatstroke. The elderly are particularly at risk, since higher temperatures affect blood viscosity and raise the risk of thrombosis.Accurate Meteorological forecasting can provide an early warning about a coming hot spell during the summer window. This gives the NDMA and the provinces sufficient opportunity to launch an action protocol: to inform the public as soon as the temperature crosses the threshold fixed by the Met Department, advise on precautionary measures, and aid those who are most vulnerable, such as older adults, farm workers and those pursuing outdoor vocations.European and American policy responses, such as creating green and blue urban spaces to provide tree shade and higher moisture, as well as housing design that cuts heat through the albedo effect of reflected solar energy, hold universal appeal. Some of these passive defences are actually integral to vernacular practices and will serve everyone well. It is essential to study the efficacy of heat action plans and share the results across provinces to achieve best practices.