Prepare residents for climate change related disasters with evacuation plans, shelter in place plans, and communication networks.
The largest threat to current population centers is the lack of preparation that has been done at the city level to inform citizens of potential dangers. When disasters strike, uninformed and unprepared populations panic, often making the rescue and recovery efforts more difficult. By preparing populations before disaster, and effectively communicating with the general public about potential risks, cities can reduce panic and increase resiliency of it's population.
Each city will face different challenges - landslides, fires, floods, earthquakes, tornados, hurricanes, blizzards, and droughts. In each disaster, the population's response should be tailored to meet the challenge presented.
In some cases, evacuation would be the safest option, while in others sheltering in place provides the necessary safety. Communicating these strategies to the public, and helping them prepare to inact their safety plan is currently completely overlooked by resiliency planning.
City officials and public safety organizations need to collaborate to create model safety plans for all disasters likely to affect their area, and communicate these different strategies to the general public.
Category of the action
What actions do you propose?
City leaders should create model safety plans tailored to meet the challenges presented by the unique climate change disasters likely to affect their citizens.
Once these model plans have been created, they must be communicated to the general public, so families and businesses can familiarize themselves with the plan components and prepare as necessary to implement them.
Similar to fire drills, and testing of the emergency broadcast system, these safety plans need to be practiced and well understood in order to be effective. To reduce panic, and increase safety and resilience, citizens need to be prepared for the likely disasters to strike in their community.
Who will take these actions?
- City elected officials
- Public safety officials
- FEMA - already produces sample safety plans
- CDC - already produces sample safety plans
- Red Cross - already produces sample safety plans
Where will these actions be taken?
Local governments need to conduct analysis of their own regions to ensure all potential disasters are accounted for.
FEMA, and the CDC can provide national level support, and should be engaged in the process.
The Red Cross conducts safety and first aid training, as well as other disaster preparation courses. The Red Cross should also be engaged in the process.
What are other key benefits?
Being prepared for disasters before they strike, rather than waiting to recover after they hit will minimize death and injury, and make populations safer and more resilient.
What are the proposal’s costs?
Could be implemented immediately, there are many sample safety plans already developed by FEMA, the CDC, and the Red Cross. For many communities, the only step that is necessary is coordination at the local government level to communicate effectively with the general public.