Step 1: Explore Climate Threats
Step 1 Overview
|1.1 Establish a team||Engage stakeholders and decide how you‘ll work together.|
|1.2 Investigate your regional climate||Consult authoritative resources to understand climate trends, projections, and threats.|
|1.3 Identify key assets and threats||List the people, places, and services your group wants to protect. Identify climate threats that could impact each asset.|
|1.4 Define the scope of your project||Decide what your group is agreeing to work on.|
|1.5 Decision point||Do weather and climate represent a threat to assets you value?|
Instructions on these pages encourage you to gather specific types of information. You may find it convenient to download this prepared spreadsheet and use it to record input as you move through the steps.
Access the Steps to Resilience glossary for definitions and examples of words related to resilience.
1.1 Establish a team
Engage stakeholders and decide how you'll work together.
There’s a saying: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, bring others.” In almost every case, projects that build climate resilience require going far.
To ensure you have the broad support necessary to confront climate threats and implement a resilience-building project, start by recruiting a comprehensive range of stakeholders. All the individuals and organizations that could be affected by the problem you hope to address—or its solution—are potential stakeholders for your project. To facilitate decision making and move a project forward most efficiently, focus on involving the groups and individuals who are willing to accept responsibility and assign resources to address the issues at hand.
» Make a list of the groups that may have a stake in your efforts in the Team tab on your spreadsheet.
Think about who has the ability to make decisions for groups you listed. Attempt to engage at least one person who is willing to represent each group’s interests in your effort. When inviting individuals to participate, keep your primary focus on the common values and shared interests of all potential stakeholders.
» Add names and contact information of candidate representatives.
1.2 Investigate your regional climate
Consult authoritative resources to understand climate trends, projections, and threats.
In addition to the everyday concerns and challenges of running a business or community, most endeavors also face some risk of being disrupted by the impacts of climate variability and change. Understanding the threats posed by weather events and climate conditions is an essential step in protecting yourself and the things you care about from them.
Members of your group who are new to the topic of climate can learn by reading Topic narratives in the Climate Resilience Toolkit. For a slightly deeper dive, they may want to refer to relevant portions of the U.S. National Climate Assessment.
Access the National Climate Assessment:
Some members of your group may also want to explore one or more tools to visualize climate projections for the future. These tools describe results from global climate models and the conditions they project for the future.
1.3 Identify key assets and threats
List the people, places, and services your group wants to protect. Identify climate threats that could impact each asset.
With a common understanding of current climate trends and potential future conditions, stakeholders can give serious consideration to how the things they value could be affected by climate and weather. Ask stakeholders to identify the people, places, and services—collectively referred to as assets—they feel are most important to protect. Giving all stakeholders the opportunity to describe what they value, and why, can be very useful in building a team with a shared vision.
» In the Vulnerability tab of your spreadsheet, list all of your group’s assets of concern.
For every key asset on your spreadsheet, consider the range of climate- or weather-related events or situations that could pose a threat to it.
» List weather- and climate-related threats that could affect each asset.
Assets that could be impacted by weather or climate have some level of “exposure.” Exposure is simply the presence of assets in places where they could be adversely affected. Access the Steps to Resilience glossary for definitions and examples of words related to resilience.
For each asset-threat pair in your table, describe the potential damage or consequences you could see if the threat occurs. Consequences from historical events are also useful as benchmarks. These are the situations you want to avoid; the descriptions can be useful in later steps for gauging the effectiveness (or lack thereof) of any interventions you implement.
» Describe the potential and/or historical consequences that could result if the threats you listed occur.
1.4 Define the scope of your project
Decide what your group is agreeing to work on.
As stakeholders learn more about climate and consider specific assets that may be threatened, individual visions of your broad goals may diverge. To keep the scope of your effort manageable, continue returning the focus to the group’s shared interests.
With the goal of reaching consensus on the project’s scope, invite all stakeholders to describe their view of the larger group’s problem or opportunity. Based on the input, work to delineate the scope of the problem active stakeholders are willing to tackle. Iterate as necessary to define the problem you hope to solve, including acknowledging other problems or issues you agree not to address. In most cases, the more clearly you define the problem, the easier it will be to find a solution to match it.
» Record stakeholders’ comments and develop a clear statement of the problem this group intends to address.
1.5 Decision point
Do weather and climate represent a threat to assets you value?
If the results of your explorations suggest that assets or resources your group values are threatened by climate and weather, continue to Step 2. If the answer is no, make plans to consider the question again at some point in the future, and develop your answer within the context of any circumstances that have changed.