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The implications of climate change for emergency planning

Arnell, N. W. ORCID: (2022) The implications of climate change for emergency planning. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 83. 103425. ISSN 2212-4209

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.ijdrr.2022.103425


Heatwaves, droughts and wildfires in 2022 raised questions about how prepared the UK is for extreme events and how they might become more frequent in the future. This paper reviews the implications of climate change for current emergency planning, and for emergency planning as an adaptation to climate change, using the UK as an example. There are seven key implications for current emergency planning: risk assessment needs to consider a broader range of events and changing likelihoods, a long-term perspective is necessary, response capabilities may need to be enhanced, some types of events will become less frequent but will not be eliminated, training and exercises need to consider novel events, public messaging needs to be revised to reflect increased severity of events, and improving resilience is necessary to reduce the need for emergency response. Many organisations include emergency planning as part of their climate change adaptation toolkit. However, relying on emergency planning procedures is unlikely to be a sufficient adaptation to a changing climate. Improved resilience in some sectors will reduce the need for emergency planning and response, but it will not be feasible to improve resilience everywhere: the focus for emergency planning will therefore evolve to reflect diverging impacts of climate change in and between communities. Achieving a balance between measures to increase resilience and measures to manage events requires a discussion on standards for resilience and definitions of ‘emergency’. Improving the coordination between emergency planning and climate change adaptation is essential to reduce current and future risks.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:109042


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