Flooded street
(Photo credit: FEMA)

Heat waves. Floods. Droughts. Across the country, communities are experiencing the effects of climate change. But no two places are identical.

So a new online tool is helping towns in Indiana see how climate change will affect them.

It provides local projections for precipitation and heat, and it includes maps that show which areas are at greatest risk of flooding, along with demographic information about those neighborhoods.

Andrea Webster is with Indiana University’s Environmental Resilience Institute, which developed the tool. She says mayors and other local officials are excited to see information that’s available for their individual town.”

It’s all based on publicly available data. But Webster says packaging the information in an easy-to-navigate way is valuable for time-strapped local officials.

“We also provide them with a list of very specific actions they can take to respond to the impacts that are specific to their community,” she says.

Those actions range from emergency planning to increasing local food purchasing and creating programs to help residents pay their electricity bills.

Webster says the process helps policymakers identify ways to prepare their communities for a changing climate.

Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy/ChavoBart Digital Media.