Individuals, businesses, and communities all face challenges related to our changing climate. The Steps to Resilience can help you identify your climate vulnerabilities and select actions to address them.
Steps to Resilience Overview
|Step 1: Explore Climate Threats||Build a team, explore your regional climate trends and projections, and consider if things you value are threatened by climate.|
|Step 2: Assess Vulnerability & Risks||Determine which of your assets are most likely to be damaged or lost to climate impacts. Decide if you can tolerate the risk.|
|Step 3: Investigate Options||Brainstorm possible solutions and explore what other groups have done. Narrow your options to a list of actions stakeholders are willing to support.|
|Step 4: Prioritize Actions||Consolidate actions and determine the best sequence to protect your full range of assets. Align your resources to focus on your largest risks.|
|Step 5: Take Action||Implement your plan and monitor your results. Modify your approach as needed.|
Every community and business faces some risk of climate-related disruptions to their operations. Anticipating potential problems and preparing to prevent or respond to them can make it easier to bounce back.
At some point, sometimes in response to a climate- or weather-related disaster, an individual or group becomes aware that things they care about may be threatened by changing climate conditions. Whether they are concerned with a single business or an entire city, a specific neighborhood or an extent of public land, people can identify their vulnerabilities and take steps to build their resilience. Taking a “climate smart” approach to protecting investments can also boost local economies, create jobs, and improve the health of local ecosystems. When people are ready to move beyond talking to taking action, the Steps to Resilience can guide their efforts.
Instructions in the Steps to Resilience encourage you to gather specific types of information. You may find it convenient to download this prepared spreadsheet and use it to record your input as you move through the steps.
You can also access the Steps to Resilience glossary for definitions and examples of words related to resilience.
Building on success
The process presented here was developed through research and refined through practice. Communities and businesses across the nation are already using these steps as guidelines to confront their climate vulnerabilities, and you can too. Read through the steps and download the accompanying spreadsheet to document your own resilience-building efforts.
The Steps to Resilience were inspired by and/or adapted from the following sources:
- Preparing for Climate Impacts: Lessons from the Front Lines (Kresge Foundation)
- The Collaboratory for Adaptation to Climate Change (University of Notre Dame and National Science Foundation)
- United Kingdom Climate Impacts Programme (University of Oxford)
- Value Chain Climate Resilience: A Guide to Managing Climate Impacts in Companies and Communities (Oxfam America and Acclimatise)
- California Adaptation Planning Guide: Planning for Adaptive Communities (FEMA and California Agencies)
- Preparing for Climate Change: A Guidebook for Local, Regional, and State Governments (ICLEI)
- Climate Change & Extreme Weather Vulnerability Assessment Framework (USDOT Federal Highway Administration)
- The Economics of Climate Change Adaptation in EU Coastal Areas (European Commission)
- Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability (IPCC)
- Adaptation to Climate Change (NCA3)
- Climate Adaptation Knowledge Exchange (CAKE/Ecoadapt)
- What Climate Change Means for Regions across America: State Reports (White House)