Our global climate is rapidly changing with increasing
variability in weather, rising sea levels, and melting ice
and snow due to rising surface temperatures. These
changes are predicted to cause substantial impact on
human health effects as climate instability can cause
wide-spread famine, injuries, death, and emergent
Florida Institute for Health Innovation is a leader of cross collaborative change that produces a targeted response to promoting climate change responsiveness and community health. Ongoing efforts through federal agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), local governments, federal governments, and universities have been focused on our adaptation to sea-level rise. Instead of focusing on adaptability by humans on this sea-level rise, since 2015 – FIHI has been studying what are some of the potential impacts sea-level rise has on human health and is working on developing solutions to prevent these impacts on vulnerable communities in Florida.
Communities can be impacted by climate change in direct or indirect causal pathways as the severity and the consequences of these impacts depend on the capacity to adapt by populations at risk. It has become fundamental to safeguard communities affected the most including those in poorer communities, those highly dependent on agriculture for their livelihood, and those geographically vulnerable to extreme weather events such as communities in Florida. This can be done by promoting climate responsiveness through urban sustainability involving a combination of policy, technology, morphology, and consumerism. Other ways also include improved surveillance to address risk indicators and health outcomes, enhancing infectious disease control programs, working on disaster preparedness, public education awareness, and appropriate health workforce training.
It is no longer enough to continue using cheaper energy or investing in green technologies alone, but instead it has become important to design our human infrastructure in communities with a hands-on-approach that lets members of our society know how we can reduce resource expenditure while applying current and future technologies to maximize the use of limited resources and increasing output in energy.
Responsiveness to climate change and the health impact it brings to vulnerable communities requires a timely and perceptive coordination across all sectors including nongovernmental organizations, academia, the private sector, and governmental agencies at the federal, state, and local levels. Cross-coordination in advocacy will allow us to play a part to reduce human vulnerability to climate-related disasters through the promotion of an idea that we need healthy people, healthy homes, and healthy communities to be more disaster-resilient and stay safe during extreme weather events that will come as a result of climate change.