Communities and organizations might realize the need to move ahead with resilience planning, but sometimes starting the process is easier said than done. That’s where Resilience Dialogues comes in. This website can put community leaders in contact with a range of scientists and resilience professionals to answer questions, provide custom information and solutions, and share their experiences. Powered by more than 10 federal agencies and state and professional organizations devoted to climate and disaster resilience, struggling communities are bound to find the information they need.
Critical Infrastructure Protection for Healthcare and Public Health Sectors
No one wants to be without power, communication, or any of the other critical services provided through public infrastructure systems, but during an disaster, loss of infrastructure to healthcare facilities can mean loss of life. This program, coordinated by the U.S. Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, works to help facilities protect critical infrastructure, prepare for infrastructure failures, communicate healthcare needs to government infrastructure programs, and implement national infrastructure protection plans.
When it comes to crowdsourcing information related to environmental topics, Data Basin has everything but the kitchen sink. The website allows users to contribute data sets, maps and pictures, as well as providing ways for others to put all that info together. Visitors can create custom visualizations, drawings, and analyses; use collaborative tools; and even develop their own decision-support tools. Webinars are provided to get beginners off to a roaring start.
Communicating Science Effectively
Communicating science—especially contentious issues—to the public is rarely easy and current practices aren’t working, according to this recently released report from the National Academies. The report finds that the “deficit model” of providing the public with an abundance of information isn’t effective and scientists need to recognize factors such as social influence, belief systems, and ways information is processed in order to customize their messages. Scientists also need to consider the medium for those messages, as well.
Critical Health and Safety Issues in the Volunteer Fire Service
With nearly 70 percent of the U.S. firefighting force made up of volunteers, it only makes sense to examine factors unique to volunteers that affect health and safety. The U.S. Fire Administration does that in this report and finds that changes in six categories—culture, recruitment and retention, funding, firefighter roles, personal health, and safety protocols—can improve outcomes. The report also includes handy tools, resources, best practices, and objectives to help departments better manage volunteers.
Climate Change: The Fiscal Risks Facing the Federal Government
The future of U.S. action related to climate change is uncertain—and so is what we know about how much climate change-related impacts will cost the government. This initial assessment by the Office of Management and Budget looked at risks related to agriculture, fire, flood, air quality, and coastal storms and came to the conclusion that, while we might not be able to quantify future costs with extreme accuracy, they are likely to be significant.