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Adapting to Climate Change While Planning for Disaster: Footholds, Rope Lines, and the Iowa Floods

December 20, 2011

This report uses the example of flood recovery after the 2008 Midwest floods to propose a more effective way for federal, state, and municipal governments to work together to address the impacts of climate change. The Environmental Protection Agency conducted a pilot project providing technical assistance to vulnerable cities in eastern Iowa, and the analysis was utilized as a case study for this report. The results of the Iowa Pilot Project are relevant to many climate change adaptation efforts around the country.

Related Organizations: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Interagency Climate Change Adaptation Task Force

Authors or Affiliated Users: Robert R.M. Verchick, Abby Hall

Resource Category: Solutions


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National Weather Service Flood Loss Summary Reports

From NOAA's National Weather Service (NWS), this website provides annual monetary totals, adjusted to inflation each year, for national flood loss or flood damages. In addition, the website offers quick access to numerous data services provided by the NWS, including forecasts, climate predictions, and current climate observations, among others.

Related Organizations: National Weather Service

Resource Category: Data and tools


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AASHTO’s Resilient and Sustainable Transportation Systems Program

AASHTO's Sustainable Transportation: Energy, Infrastructure, and Climate Solutions Technical Assistance Program is designed to assist State Departments of Transportation in understanding the potential effects of climate change, and the range of strategies and options for climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Related Organizations: American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

Resource Category: Planning


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Bureau of Reclamation

Established in 1902, the Bureau of Reclamation is best known for the dams, power plants, reservoirs, and canals it constructed in the 17 western states, including Hoover Dam on the Colorado River and Grand Coulee on the Columbia River. The Bureau of Reclamation is the largest wholesaler of water in the country. They bring water to more than 31 million people, and provide one out of five Western farmers (140,000) with irrigation water for 10 million acres of farmland that produce 60% of the nation's vegetables and 25% of its fruits and nuts.




UCLA Health Impact Assessment Clearinghouse Learning and Information Center

This Website is designed to collect and disseminate information on health impact assessments (HIA) in the United States. The website contains completed and in-progress HIAs conducted in the U. S. The site includes a section on training, as well as resources for funding, technical support, and updates on legislative action. It also reviews common pathways examined by HIAs, provides links to HIA-related journal articles and news releases, and information about HIA methods. .

Related Organizations: University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

Resource Category: Adaptation Websites


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Clean Air Cool Planet (CA-CP)

Clean Air Cool Planet (CA-CP) is a science-based, non-partisan, 501(c)3 non-profit, with offices in Portsmouth, NH; New Canaan, CT; and Washington, DC - dedicated solely to finding and promoting solutions to global warming.   




U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI)

The U. S. Department of the Interior (DOI) "protects America’s natural resources and heritage, honors our cultures and tribal communities, and supplies the energy to power our future".   Measured in economic terms, the Department’s programs support approximately $370 billion in economic activity each year and 1. 4 million jobs. The DOI manages the Nation’s public lands and minerals, including providing access to public lands and the Outer Continental Shelf for renewable and conventional energy; is the steward of 20 percent of the Nation’s lands including national parks, national wildlife refuges, and the public lands; is the largest supplier and manager of water in the 17 western states and a supplier of hydropower energy; and upholds Federal trust responsibilities to Indian tribes and Alaska Natives.




U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS)

The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) is the premier government agency dedicated to the conservation, protection, and enhancement of fish, wildlife and plants, and their habitats. It is the only agency in the federal government whose primary responsibility is management of these important natural resources for the American public. The Service also helps ensure a healthy environment for people through its work benefiting wildlife, and by providing opportunities for Americans to enjoy the outdoors and our shared natural heritage.




ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability

ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability is a membership association of more than 600 U.S. local governments committed to climate protection and sustainability. ICLEI's Climate Resilient Communities (CRC) helps local governments prepare for the impacts of climate change through vulnerability assessments and policy development, as well as investment and development decisions.




Illinois State Climatologist Office

The Illinois state climatologist promotes the use of climate information in areas crucial for the economic and environmental benefit of Illinois by disseminating climate information, monitoring climate events, conducting applied research, making presentations to community organizations, and talking to individuals and the media. The Illinois state climatologist has extensive records of climate data for the state, including daily temperature, precipitation, and snowfall data for nearly 400 sites, of which 200 are currently active.