Adapting to Climate Change: A Handbook for Local Governments in North Carolina

Sierra C. Woodruff, Anna K. Schwab, Dylan Sandler
Created: 8/16/2013 -


The Coastal Hazards Center at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH) has developed a handbook to help local governments in North Carolina adapt to climate change. The handbook demonstrates the need for local action and explains the options that are open to local governments.

Climate change is and will continue to impact every community in North Carolina, the United States and indeed the world. In North Carolina climate change is expected to increase extreme heat, increase the frequency and severity of drought, raise sea levels, increase the intensity of hurricanes, and increase heavy precipitation.

If no action is taken these changes may cause a decline in public health, economic loss, and environmental damage. Fortunately, there are many tools at the disposal of local governments to address these impacts; many are already in use. The handbook emphasizes these opportunities and provides guidance to retool existing policy and programs to address climate change.

Published On


Sector Addressed
Disaster Risk Management
Land Use Planning
Type of Adaptation Action/Strategy
Capacity Building
Invest in / Enhance emergency services planning and training
Conduct / Gather additional research, data, and products
Create/enhance resources and tools
Infrastructure, Planning, and Development
Infrastructure retrofitting and improvements
Make infrastructure resistant or resilient to climate change
Create or modify shoreline management measures
Develop disaster preparedness plans and policies
Governance and Policy
Create new or enhance existing policies or regulations
Develop / implement adaptation plans
Target Climate Changes and Impacts
Air temperature
Sea level rise
Storms or extreme weather events
Southeast & Caribbean