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Meeting the urgent need to incorporate climate change into disaster planning in the Gulf Coast

Health planners need to incorporate climate change into strategic planning for the location of future facilities and reducing the disaster vulnerability of existing infrastructure and services. Most climate change processes on a global scale are expected to unfold slowly; however, research suggests that climate change may have significant impact on hazards important to the US Gulf Coast such as hurricane frequency and intensity. This paper argues that there will be new risks brought by climate change that deserve the attention of disaster managers and infrastructure planners. The authors propose an approach that brings together different stakeholders to develop scenarios that reflect the most likely local impacts of climate change, and to build the capacity of local stakeholders to make decisions under uncertainty. They also propose a scheme to bring together experts from climate, disaster and policy communities to start a dialogue on understanding the wider aspects of long-term risk reduction at the local level. This is especially challenge for the health community as has been learned in experiences with Hurricanes Katrina and Ike. Appropriate tools and techniques will have to be developed to help the health community identify and deal with the impacts of climate change in their area.

Source: Prabhakar, S., Srinivasan, A. and R. Shaw. 2008. Climate change and local level disaster risk reduction planning: need, opportunities and challenges. Mitig Adapt Strateg Glob Change, DOI 10.1007/s11027-008-9147-4.

 

CCSP, 2008: Analyses of the effects of global change on human health and welfare and human systems.
CCSP, 2008: Analyses of the effects of global change on human health and welfare and human systems. A Report by the U.S. Climate Change Science Program and the Subcommittee on Global Change Research. [Gamble, J.L. (ed.), K.L. Ebi, F.G. Sussman, T.J. Wilbanks, (Authors)]. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, USA.
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