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Including Climate Change In Hazard Mitigation Plans
September 8, 2010

Communities must begin to address the potential impact of climate change in their local hazard mitigation plans, according to Carrie Speranza, an emergency management specialist with Dewberry, a national consulting firm. Ms. Speranza notes that climate events, such as drought and extreme heat, may harm agriculture, infrastructure, and other aspects of local economies, meriting the inclusion of adaptation concepts in the planning process.

Carrie Speranza

Writing for the July issue of Emergency Management magazine, Ms. Speranza points to the trendsetting planning efforts of Frederick County, Maryland, as an example of a community that has addressed the potential impact of global warming through adaptation measures. “Incorporating climate change in our plan not only makes our mitigation program more comprehensive, it may also help other county divisions and agencies secure grant funding for environmental sustainability,” says Seamus Mooney, director of Frederick County’s Department of Emergency Preparedness.

Working with Dewberry, Frederick County established a comprehensive community profile and engaged in a hazard identification exercise to review historical trends and weather impact. In addition to adaptation measures and mitigation strategies for drought and extreme heat, the county developed measures for its transportation infrastructure and water resources, focusing in particular on stormwater management as a result of rising temperatures and increased storm events.

Ms. Speranza’s article, “Moving Forward on Climate Change,” is available at

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