Guide and Toolkit, delivered through the U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit website (toolkit.climate.gov), has been created as an initial component of the President’s Climate Action Plan. The Plan included this recommendation for actions to promote resilience in the health sector:
“The Department of Health and Human Services will launch an effort to create sustainable and resilient hospitals in the face of climate change. Through a public-private partnership with the health care industry, it will identify best practices and provide guidance on affordable mea- sures to ensure that our medical system is resilient to climate impacts. It will also collaborate with partner agencies to share best practices among federal health facilities” (Executive Of ce of the President, 2013).
These documents have been developed for sectors and disciplines engaged in health care facility climate resilience to assist in improving response to extreme weather events and facilitate a faster return to normal or adoption of a new normal. Climate resilience, as applied to health care, is anchored by the acute care hospital, a “high-reliability organization” that is keenly aware of, and sensitive to, broader resilience concerns. Disruptions and losses incurred by the U.S. health care sector after recent extreme weather events strongly suggest that speci c guidance on managing the new and evolving hazards presented by climate change is necessary.
The Guide and Toolkit is intended to provide key tools and insights to improve the climate resilience of the full spectrum of health care delivery settings at the institution (campus or facility) level, nested within the broader context of regional and community infrastructure. This Guide is organized in three parts.
- Part 1 introduces the overall program.
- Part 2 examines the characteristics of health care delivery settings and de nes the parameters of changing extreme weather risks; this part includes case studies of actual health care infrastructure responses to historical extreme weather events.
- Part 3 introduces a ve-element planning framework for improving health care infrastructure resilience, a framework that in turn guides the Toolkit organization. Part 3 highlights case studies of emergent practices for improving health care resilience.
Several of New Jersey’s neighboring Mid-Atlantic States have recently proposed legislative and administrative changes to agency programs in order to account for risks posed to state resources and residents by a changing climate. Coastal managers in Maryland, Delaware, and New York identified recent legislation, executive actions and proposals as the latest efforts to incorporate climate change into law in their respective states to address coastal resources and risks, including:
- Delaware Executive Order 41: Preparing Delaware for Emerging Climate Impacts and Seizing Economic Opportunities from Reducing Emissions (Enacted)
- Maryland Executive Order 01.01.2012.19: Climate Change and “Coast Smart” Construction (Enacted)
- Maryland House Bill 615: Coast Smart Council (Enacted)
- New York S06617B: Community Risk and Resiliency Act (Proposed).
The following is an analysis with an emphasis on coastal resources and risks, and identifies adaptation programs and policies of states in the region (as of 31 July 2014) that are consistent with one or more of the individual recommendations pertinent to coastal resources and risks proposed by the NJCAA in Preparing New Jersey for Climate Change: Policy Considerations from the New Jersey Climate Adaptation Alliance.
Climate change refers to change over time due to natural variability or as a result of human activity (IPCC, 2008). Alaska is experiencing a wide range of impacts from climate change and communities seek adaptive strategies that encourage wellness and sustainability. This report documents climate change impacts as described by local people and climate change effects or potential effects as interpreted through the lens of public health. It is the seventh report in a series describing climate change across Alaska, and the second report to focus on the Bristol Bay region, the rst being in the community of Pilot Point.
Understanding community impact of climate change is important for assessing negative and positive effects on health. Melting glaciers is improving ight conditions through Lake Clark Pass, but also changing lake conditions with uncertain impacts on sh and wildlife. Some subsistence resources such as caribou are more scarce while some types of salmon are being harvested with greater frequency. Rising temperature in summer raises concerns about heat illness and presents new challenges when preparing dry sh and other subsistence foods. Important health topics include food security, water security, heat related illness, and infrastructure vulnerability to damage and disruption from extreme weather events, and safety related to travel in increasingly unpredictable weather and changing seasons and landscape.
Climate change refers to change over time due to natural variability or as a result of human activity (IPCC, 2008). Today the term is mostly used to describe global changes caused by the burning of fossil fuels and the warming effect caused by the transfer of enormous quantities of carbon dioxide from the earth to the air. But climate change also has local implications and communities seek adaptive strategies that encourage wellness and sustainability. The North Slope of Alaska is characterized by permafrost and ice. The wildlife, vegetation and people have specially adapted to live in an environment that is mostly cold and frozen. But because of warming, the environment is rapidly changing and a new Arctic is emerging, characterized by thawing land, open water and a longer warm season. For residents of the North Slope this means new challenges in building and maintaining infrastructure, for providing local services, collecting food and water, and safely navigating the land and seascape. It also means new opportunities for subsistence, land use, transportation, commerce and development. Understanding local effects is the rst step in nding a healthy course through the changes and challenges ahead.
Nuiqsut residents recalled the lessons of their elders, who told them about a time to come that would bring warming and hardship (Annie Lampe; Archie Ahkiviana). Similar premonitions have been reported in other villages across the North Slope. Climate change is occurring now and is certainly bringing new challenges to traditional ways of life. But in some ways and in some places, it is also bringing new opportunity. Understanding local impact of climate change is important for assessing both the negative and positive effects, and for developing appropriate adaptation strategies. Residents report unprecedented changes to the weather, seasons, land and seascape, plants, wildlife and infrastructure with important implications for public health. These change raise new concerns about food and water security, safety and mental health related to the stress of adapting to a new climate and changing environment.
Climate change refers to change over time due to natural variability or as a result of human activity (IPCC, 2008). Alaska communities are experiencing a wide range of impacts from climate change and residents seek adaptive strategies that encourage wellness and sustainability. This report documents climate change impacts and potential impacts as described by the local people and interpreted through the lens of public health. It is the sixth report in a series describing climate change across Alaska, and the rst report to focus on the Bristol Bay Region.
On a narrow promontory extending far out into the Chukchi Sea, the village of Point Hope enjoys one of the nest locations in Alaska for the harvest of subsistence resources, including sh, marine mammals, birds and caribou. This amazing place has allowed the Inupiat of Point Hope to ourish for centuries, and it is one of the oldest continuously occupied communities in Alaska. But it is also one of the most exposed, vulnerable to the full force of coastal storms and the constant shaping of the land by the wind and the sea. Shore erosion and the risk of ooding has forced relocation in the past. Today with the added pressure of climate change, Point Hope continues its struggle with increased urgency; against erosion and against other new emerging challenges to the community, the culture, and to public health.
Three issues were identified that are of special public health concern: first, the permafrost that cools traditional underground food storage cellars is thawing, and there are currently no community alternatives for storage of whale meat and blubber. Secondly, warming is contributing to changes in 7 Mile Lake, the community drinking water source. Temperature in uenced blooms of organic material have clogged water lters, adversely affecting water treatment. Thirdly, the community is increasingly vulnerable to flooding, due to storm intensity, erosion and late freeze up. The airstrip and 7 Mile road are also vulnerable. Emergency planning should continue to address these vulnerabilities, encourage early warning systems for storm events and ensure that evacuation routes and adequate shelter is available in a safe location.
Rural Arctic communities are vulnerable to climate change and residents seek adaptive strategies that will protect public health. In the Inupiat community of Selawik, climate change is impacting the weather, land, river, wildlife, plants, and the lives of the people who live there. This report identi es health concerns related to food and water security, and community infrastructure including water and sanitation.
This report documents these issues as described by the local people and interpreted through the lens of public health. It is the fth report in a series describing climate change in Northwest Alaska. Assessments have been performed in two coastal communities (Point Hope and Kivalina), and in two inland river communities (Noatak and Kiana). This is the rst to look at a river delta, speci cally the broad intertidal basin of the Selawik River. These reports were prepared by the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, Center for Climate and Health in partnership with the Maniilaq Association, the Northwest Arctic Borough, Native Village of Selawik, and the City of Selawik. Funding was provided by the United States Indian Health Service, by the Environmental Protection Agency, and by a Landscape Conservation Cooperative (LCC) grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Information sources for this report include observations of local residents acquired through semi-structured interviews, detailed participant observations as well as on site observations by the authors. Other important sources include reports from government agencies, and scienti c evidence gathered from published studies.
This climate change health assessment project was initiated in 2013 by the North Slope Borough, Health Impact Assessment (HIA) program with a grant from the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska. The project is in collaboration with the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC), Center for Climate and Health, and participating local governments. ANTHC performed an assessment in 2009 in Point Hope with funding from the U.S. Indian Health Service. Under the current project, baseline information on climate change vulnerabilities was compiled for all of the communities in the North Slope Borough, but with a special focus on Wainwright, Nuiqsut, Atqusuk and Barrow. A project team was established to perform on-site visits and to coordinate with local and regional experts. The team included Heather Dingman from North Slope Borough and Jake Bell and Mike Brubaker from ANTHC. Site visits were performed in Wainwright in June 2013 and in April 2014. The onsite survey and report preparation was based on guidance from the village council, city council and the project team. Information sources include observations of local residents, reports from government agencies, and scientific findings gathered from published sources.