Heatwaves and storms. Floods and fires. Climate change will affect all communities, but in diverse ways.
To help people understand what’s expected where they live, the nonprofit research group Headwaters Economics created a free online tool called Neighborhoods at Risk.
“It identifies vulnerabilities in every single community and county in the United States,” says Patty Hernandez, Headwater’s executive director.
She says people can use the tool to learn about flooding vulnerability, extreme heat, and other climate risks for their town or neighborhood.
It also provides racial and socioeconomic data – for example, the percentage of people in an area who live in poverty, lack health insurance, or are elderly.
She says this information can help decisionmakers create plans to protect those who are most vulnerable during climate disasters or who may have the hardest time recovering afterward.
“We’re very aware that too often climate resilience programs fail to help rural and low-income communities and communities of color,” Hernandez says. “And we have the opportunity to invest in communities and neighborhoods that are being left behind.”
Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy/ChavoBart Digital Media and Molly Matthews Multedo