Rachel CalabroClimate Change Program Manager
Like with most public health issues, climate change does not affect all communities equally. Climate change will expose pre-existing inequities and worsen them over time. Building community resilience is long-term way to prepare for the risks posed to the most vulnerable populations. Ways to build community resilience include increasing social connectedness, reducing social vulnerabilities, and making sure everyone in a community is represented in decision making. Resilience is also an ability to anticipate and plan for shocks and then "bounce forward" after a disruption.
Heat is the number one public health threat from extreme weather.
Trees in and around cities, suburbs, and towns can significantly contribute to reducing the rate of temperature rise and can help to cool our neighborhoods and reduce energy use.
This project targets tree canopy growth in locations with the most vulnerable populations. Together with our partners at American Forests, the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM), and the Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank (RIIB), we will work in vulnerable neighborhoods to increase tree canopy to maximize public health outcomes.
The Senior Resilience Project helps long-term care, assisted living and independent living senior housing facilities prepare for storms, floods, and other climate-related extreme weather events. The program developed a series of tools and guides for completing energy resiliency audits and developing all-hazards emergency plans that emphasize sheltering in place rather than evacuation. When conducted by facilities that serve seniors, these important emergency preparedness actions will reduce risk to vulnerable senior citizens and increase overall emergency preparedness levels of the facilities that serve them.