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CEQ Releases Toolkit, Fact Sheet to Help Communities Respond to Climate Change

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The White House Council on Environmental Quality has announced two resources to help communities respond to and prepare for climate change:

  • A Climate Resilience Toolkit providing centralized, authoritative and easy-to-use information, tools and best practices to help communities prepare for and boost their resilience to the impacts of climate change.
  • A fact sheet from the State, Local and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience recommending how the federal government can support actions to address the impacts of climate change.

 The toolkit includes:

  • The Climate Explorer – A visualization tool offering detailed maps of climate stressors and impacts and interactive graphs with information from thousands of U.S. weather stations.
  • Steps to Resilience – A five-step process for initiating, planning and implementing projects to help make homes, communities and infrastructure more resilient to climate-related hazards.
  • “Taking Action” Stories – More than 20 real-world case studies describing climate-related risks and opportunities that communities and businesses face; the steps they are taking to plan and respond; and the tools and techniques they are using to improve resilience.
  • Federal Resource Database – Centralized access to federal sites for future climate projections and tools for accessing and analyzing climate data, generating visualizations, exploring climate projections, estimating hazards and engaging stakeholders in resilience-building efforts.

Task Force Recommendations
The task force’s recommendations are the culmination of a year of work to solicit input from state, local, tribal and territorial governments, trade associations, academic organizations, civil society and others and to translate their first-hand experiences into ways the federal government can support climate-ready communities.

The task force organized its report across seven cross-cutting themes:

  • Building resilient communities;
  • Improving resilience in the nation’s infrastructure;
  • Ensuring resilience of natural resources;
  • Preserving human health and supporting resilient populations;
  • Supporting climate-smart hazard mitigation and disaster preparedness and recovery;
  • Understanding and acting on the economics of resilience; and
  • Building capacity.

In addition to the toolkit, the administration announced several other initiatives to support state, local and tribal climate resilience needs:

  • Development of online resilience training for local officials; 
  • A Preparedness and Resilience Exercise in the Hampton Roads, Va., region on December 2, 2014, providing partners with the best-available science on climate effects and consequences and a tailored scenario to enhance regional climate adaptation and hazard mitigation planning.
  • Creation of a disaster recovery app, Lantern Live, based on lessons learned in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. The mobile application will provide real-time information in the wake of severe weather events, allowing users to report and view the availability of fuel at nearby gas stations and access power company outage maps.
  • A Climate Education and Literacy Initiative by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, shaped by input from communities and organizations across the country, will help grow a next-generation American workforce that is equipped with scientific information and tools, grasps the climate-change challenge and is empowered to develop and implement solutions. 

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