New Online Tool Helps Cities Prepare for Climate Change Effects
(BLOOMINGTON, Ind.) - Cities and counties can only do so much to affect climate change -- but there are things they can do to protect themselves from its effects.
IU has created an online climate-change tool to help local governments plan for the problems created by extreme weather. The "Hoosier Resilience Index" crunches numbers on how many days you've had with extreme heat or heavy rain and snow, how many buildings you have in a floodplain, and how many low-income residents you have. Andrea Webster with the university's Environmental Resilience Institute explains they're more likely to get hit harder and sooner by weather damage.
The tool generates a score, and offers suggestions for what protective steps a city can take. Webster says those aren't necessarily sweeping new programs, but may be improving on things they already do. For instance, she says more effective leaf cleanup can be a safeguard against flooded streets, by removing a prime culprit in clogging storm sewers.