Image: Wildfire Apparatus Staging Area in Chino, CA by Casey Deshong, FEMA / Wikimedia Commons

Climate change will continue to increase the frequency and severity of extreme weather events.[1] The United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change defines extreme weather as events, such as droughts or floods, that have historically occurred on average only once in 100 years and vary from "the norm" in severity or duration. Recent examples in California include the drought that ran from 2011-2015, the wettest year on record in 2016 in the northern Sierra Nevada mountains, and historic wildfires that continue to increase in frequency, size, and devastation.[2, 3] Climate change is anticipated to increase and exacerbate these and other hazards, impacting all phases of emergency management and hazard mitigation. Building resilience is critical to confront these hazards.

Emergency management encompasses preparedness, disaster response, recovery, and longer-term resilience planning. Planning across this spectrum is critical for emergency management, including working to identify hazards and emergency response priorities for longer-term resilience to climate change impacts, as well as seeking mitigation through avoidance of hazards by new projects and reduction of risk in developed areas. Coordination between federal, state, and local agencies and jurisdictions is necessary to achieve resilience across the state, and various planning requirements in California help facilitate that coordination. As California confronts mounting climate change impacts, local governments are now required to include in their Local Hazard Mitigation Plans (LHMPs) a climate change vulnerability assessment, measures to address vulnerabilities, and a comprehensive hazard mitigation and emergency response strategy, as explained in OPR’s General Plan Guidelines, Safety Element. Further information on climate adaptation planning is covered on the Land Use and Community Development page. The safety element of the general plan plays an important role in ensuring consistency with the Local Hazard Mitigation Plan (LHMP) and the State’s Hazard Mitigation Plan (SHMP). The general plan and LHMP both provide a local vehicle for implementation of the SHMP, including the provisions dealing with climate change.

All Resources for Emergency Management


Big Bear Roof Replacements - Safeguarding California Example

California Natural Resources Agency. 2018
Wildfire
Project or Example
California state agencies collaborated to compile each of these examples, associated with Safeguarding California's 2018 update, to show how California is preparing for and adjusting to various extreme events brought on by climate change. Each of these examples highlights unique strategies, funded by the state, to combat and adapt to the effects of climate change. The examples are tagged with icons from the Safeguarding California Report, classifying stories by sector. This example highlights a state and local partnership to remove roof wood shingles from high-risk structures for wildfire.

CalOES MyHazards

Governor's Office of Emergency Services. 2018
Drought Extreme heat Extreme storms Wildfire
Data, tools, and research
MyHazards is a tool for the general public to discover hazards in their area (earthquake, flood, fire, and tsunami) and learn steps to reduce personal risk. Using the MyHazards tool, users may enter an address, city, zip code, or may select a location from a map. The MyHazards website also contains emergency preparedness information for families, businesses and people with disabilities and other special needs.

CalOES MyPlan

Governor's Office of Emergency Services. 2018
Extreme storms Sea level rise Snowpack Wildfire
Data, tools, and research
MyPlan Internet Mapping Tool (IMT) enables city, county, special district, state and tribal user access in assembling and assessing GIS information on natural hazards i​n California. The MyPlan tool provides an easy-to-use interface where emergency managers and planners can specify views, opacity, and layering order to create a map for their Local Hazard Mitigation Plan (LHMP). These maps can be used in applying for federal grants or in the development of mitigation plans. The tool is exportable for use by other website.

Hazard Mitigation at Donner Trail Elementary School - Safeguarding California Example

California Natural Resources Agency. 2018
Snowpack
Project or Example
California state agencies collaborated to compile each of these examples, associated with Safeguarding California's 2018 update, to show how California is preparing for and adjusting to various extreme events brought on by climate change. Each of these examples highlights unique strategies, funded by the state, to combat and adapt to the effects of climate change. The examples are tagged with icons from the Safeguarding California Report, classifying stories by sector. This example showcases a local school that renovated its roof to be better prepared for increased snow accumulation and winter extreme weather.

Fortifying San Francisco’s Great Seawall: Strategies for Funding the Seawall Resiliency Project

City and County of San Francisco Office of Resilience and Capital Planning. 2017
Sea level rise
Assessment
The San Francisco Sea Wall Finance Work Group, convened by the City and County of San Francisco, Office of Resilience and Capital Planning and the Port of San Francisco to prepare a set of funding strategy recommendations to support the fortification of the San Francisco Sea Wall. The work group identified and evaluated forty-eight (48) different funding sources that could potentially support the project. In addition to a quantitative analysis, the report also provides a qualitative assessment of the top-rated sources relative to the following considerations: (1) revenue Generating Potential, (2) Timing, (3) Administrative complexity, (4) Political feasibility, (5) Cost Burden

Local Hazard Mitigation Program

Governor's Office of Emergency Services. 2018
Drought Extreme heat Extreme storms Flooding Ocean acidification Sea level rise Temperature Wildfire
Planning and policy guidance
The Federal Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 (DMA 2000) requires that states review LHMPs as part of their state hazard mitigation planning process. The purpose of the Local Hazard Mitigation Program is to gather hazard, vulnerability, and mitigation information and ensure that local and state hazard mitigation planning is coordinated. Incorporation of climate into LHMPs and integration of LHMPs with other local and regional plans is recommended when planning for the impacts of climate change.

Shore Up Marin

Shore Up Marin. 2018
Flooding Sea level rise
Communication or educational material
This website is the home for Shore Up Marin, which is a multi-racial environmental coalition. The organization primarily works to advocate for equitable inclusion of low-income communities in planning and community preparedness. Their main focus areas are: Emergency Preparedness; Flooding and Hazard Mitigation; Sea Level Rise and Climate Adaptation; Water, Air and Soil Quality and Social Equity. The website includes a number of great resources and ways for individuals to get involved.

Arroyo Grande Climate Action Plan

City of Arroyo Grande. 2013
Extreme storms Temperature Wildfire
Plan or strategy
Chapter 4 of the 2013 City of Arroyo Grande Climate Action Plan includes a discussion of vulnerabilities to temperature, precipitation, storm events, wildfires and public health. The plan addresses adaptation through measures such as collaborating with state agencies and seeking funding.

California Forest Carbon Plan

California Forest Climate Action Team. 2017
Drought Extreme heat Temperature Wildfire
Assessment Plan or strategy Planning and policy guidance
The State Forest Carbon Plan presents actions for managing our forest landscapes in a changing climate, and sets the stage for implementation at the landscape level. The Forest Carbon Plan is the detailed implementation plan for the forest carbon goals embodied in the California Air Resources Board’s 2030 Target Scoping Plan Update. Similarly, the California Air Resources Board’s Proposed Short-Lived Climate Pollutant Reduction Strategy points to the Forest Carbon Plan as the mechanism for addressing black carbon emissions from forest sources such as wildfire.

City of Paso Robles Climate Action Plan

City of Paso Robles. 2013
Extreme storms Temperature Wildfire
Plan or strategy
Chapter 4 of the 2013 City of Paso Robles Climate Action Plan includes a vulnerability discussion on temperature, precipitation, extreme storm events, and wildfires. The chapter also includes adaptation measures such as conducting outreach programs and preparing a heat wave plan.