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Resilience to the Health Risks of Extreme Weather Events in a Changing Climate in the United States
Department of Medicine, Stanford University, 260 Panama Street, Stanford, CA 94305, USA
Received: 18 August 2011; in revised form: 11 November 2011 / Accepted: 2 December 2011 / Published: 8 December 2011
Abstract: Current public health strategies, policies, and measures are being modified to enhance current health protection to climate-sensitive health outcomes. These modifications are critical to decrease vulnerability to climate variability, but do not necessarily increase resilience to future (and different) weather patterns. Communities resilient to the health risks of climate change anticipate risks; reduce vulnerability to those risks; prepare for and respond quickly and effectively to threats; and recover faster, with increased capacity to prepare for and respond to the next threat. Increasing resilience includes top-down (e.g., strengthening and maintaining disaster risk management programs) and bottom-up (e.g., increasing social capital) measures, and focuses not only on the risks presented by climate change but also on the underlying socioeconomic, geographic, and other vulnerabilities that affect the extent and magnitude of impacts. Three examples are discussed of public health programs designed for other purposes that provide opportunities for increasing the capacity of communities to avoid, prepare for, and effectively respond to the health risks of extreme weather and climate events. Incorporating elements of adaptive management into public health practice, including a strong and explicit focus on iteratively managing risks, will increase effective management of climate change risks.
Keywords: adaptation; climate change; extreme weather events; health impacts; resilience
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Cite This Article
MDPI and ACS Style
Ebi, K.L. Resilience to the Health Risks of Extreme Weather Events in a Changing Climate in the United States. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8, 4582-4595.
Ebi KL. Resilience to the Health Risks of Extreme Weather Events in a Changing Climate in the United States. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2011; 8(12):4582-4595.
Ebi, Kristie L. 2011. "Resilience to the Health Risks of Extreme Weather Events in a Changing Climate in the United States." Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 8, no. 12: 4582-4595.