NLC urges Congress and the Administration to help local governments strengthen extreme weather preparedness and resilience efforts.
Across the country local governments are seeing the devastating effects associated with a changing climate, such as sea-level rise, extreme weather events, pest infestations, and disease. Additionally, as extreme weather events such as heat waves, wildfires, droughts, floods, heavy precipitation and strong storms become more common, local governments in all geographic and climatic regions are looking for resources to assist them in anticipating, preparing for and adapting to these events.
Extreme weather and climate events have short- and long-term impacts on local and regional infrastructure, public safety, natural landscapes and environmental quality. These events can cost human life, destroy property, damage local infrastructure, jeopardize water quality and availability, lead to energy and food shortages and disrupt entire economies.
Local governments act as first responders, preparing in advance of emergency situations; offering immediate assistance to those impacted; and identifying strategies, solutions, and partnerships to address situations quickly and efficiently.
Communities must prepare for extreme weather events and a changing climate by taking a number of important steps now, including studying particular risks and vulnerabilities faced by the community; developing short- and long- term plans to address these vulnerabilities; and upgrading facilities and infrastructure to withstand impacts. By partnering with the private sector, utilities, regional and state agencies and other stakeholders, city leaders can more efficiently and effectively coordinate limited financial and technical resources.
Cities need stronger federal government support through improved development and distribution of relevant educational resources, streamlined processes for funding "smart planning," and policies and programs that will help communities become more resilient.
As extreme weather events become more common, local governments in all geographic and climatic regions are looking for resources to assist them in anticipating, preparing for and adapting to these events. NLC urges Congress and the Administration to help local governments conduct vulnerability assessments, and develop and implement adaptation and resilience action plans. This includes passing the STRONG Act (Strengthening the Resiliency of our Nation on the Ground). Cities need stronger federal support to leverage resources most effectively, learn from and act on the latest information available on climate change and find ways to partner with regional and state agencies that encourage smart planning.
Request of Congress and the Administration:
Issue Brief: Support Community Resilience (PDF)
Issue brief containing NLC''s request of Congress and the Administration, and background information.
NLC's Sustainable Cities Institute
Program to provide cities and sustainability professionals with timely, vetted, and practical resources to identify and implement solutions to advance their goals and strengthen their communities.
Entries from NLC's blog covering topics related to climate change and community resilience.
The State of Adaptation in the United States: An Overview
2013 report from EcoAdapt with an overview of the climate adaptation action opportunities based upon identified gaps in existing efforts.
Implementing Climate Change Adaptation: Lessons Learned from Ten Examples
2012 case study profiling 10 cities' climate change adaptation efforts.
The Environmental Protection Agency
Information from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on climate change.
Resilient Communities for America Campaign
A new movement of resilient cities and counties that are taking smart steps to prepare for climate change and energy challenges, and turning adversity into economic opportunity.