The California Heat Assessment Tool

Tool Overview

California’s climate is warming and residents increasingly endure extreme heat events that adversely impact public health. This exacerbates existing risks and will bring new challenges for different regions in the state, threatening the efficacy of traditional intervention strategies. Current thresholds for heat alerts are based on temperatures that exceed historical statistical thresholds, rather than temperatures that cause public health impacts. These ‘health-neutral’ thresholds may underestimate the health risks for the most sensitive populations.

Adapting to the Changing Climate: An Assessment of Local Health Department Preparations for Climate Change-Related Health Threats, 2008-2012


Climate change poses a major public health threat. A survey of U.S. local health department directors in 2008 found widespread recognition of the threat, but limited adaptive capacity, due to perceived lack of expertise and other resources.


Conveying the Human Implications of Climate Change: A Climate Change Communication Primer for Public Health Professionals

There is now widespread agreement among climate scientists that the earth is warming as a result of human activity, primarily due to rising levels of carbon dioxide and other heat trapping atmospheric gases created by burning fossil fuels. It is also clear that current trends in energy use, development, and population growth will lead to continuing — and more severe — climate change over the course of this century and beyond. Climate change is expected to adversely affect the health of all Americans as well.

Key Findings of a National Medical Association Physician Survey

The following report contains the findings of a survey conducted in two phases in March and May of 2014 among members of the National Medical Association (NMA), the association of African American physicians. The survey was conducted in collaboration with George Mason University. The purpose of the survey was to assess physicians’ experience with the health effects of climate change and their thoughts about how to address this issue. In March, attendees of the 2014 NMA policy conference were asked to complete a paper version of the survey.

The State of Climate Adaptation in Public Health: An Assessment of 16 U.S. States

Climate change poses significant threats to the health of individuals and communities, as well as the delivery of healthcare services. Human morbidity and mortality rates are rising due to extreme heat events and changing patterns of water-borne and vector-borne diseases, and healthcare infrastructure is at risk from extreme events. Climate adaptation actions are taken to either avoid or take advantage of climate change impacts either by decreasing vulnerability or increasing resilience.

Equitable Adaptation: Building climate change adaptation capacity for Make the Road NY and Central Queens

Make the Road New York (MRNY) serves immigrants and community members throughout the five boroughs of New York at their three centers in Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island. They provide services and guidance to new and resident immigrants in the form of legal services, education, community organizing, and enacting policy change.

Increasing Virginia's Resilience to Sea Level Rise and Natural Hazards

Sea level rise, land subsidence, higher average temperatures, more frequent and intense weather events, severe drought, and increased development, have increased risk and will continue to increase and exacerbate risk from natural hazards across the Commonwealth of Virginia. The number of federally declared disasters has steadily increased nationally and in Virginia. The number has experienced a 250 percent increase in federally declared disasters over the past 20 years, including declarations for flooding, hurricanes, severe storms, and wildfire.

San Francisco Climate and Health Profile

The San Francisco Department of Public Health’s (SFDPH) Climate and Health Program works to address the public health consequences of climate change at the local level and improve climate change preparedness and resilience in San Francisco. Using the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) national framework, Building Resilience Against Climate Effects (BRACE), the SFDPH’s Climate and Health program is assessing climate trends, defining disease burden, developing specific intervention methods, and evaluating the effects of change for at-risk populations within San Francisco.