In a joint effort, the Building Resilience Against Climate Effects (BRACE), the Illinois Project at the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health (UIC SPH), and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) developed and released a new educational video on climate change, public health, and emergency preparedness. The video describes the trends and projections of climate change, how climate change leads to more extreme weather events, explains the public health impacts from climate change of most concern to Illinois, and how emergency preparedness can adjust their activities to better plan for more frequent and severe extreme weather events. It is particularly geared for the emergency preparedness workforce and state and local health department professionals.
The video will be utilized during targeted trainings and presentations for emergency preparedness professionals, state and local health department staff, and other partners and stakeholders. It is also posted on YouTube and IDPH’s website for the general public to view. The key messages of the video are that these public health impacts are not new problems; however, they will be exacerbated by climate change. Incorporating climate change data into planning processes, such as the Hazard Vulnerability Assessment, will better inform emergency preparedness priorities and activities.
UIC SPH is one of 16 states and two cities to receive a BRACE grant from the Centers of Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) to build the capacity of Illinois’ public health system and reduce the public health impact from climate change. UIC SPH is working on behalf of IDPH on these efforts. The BRACE-Illinois Project is analyzing historic weather data of Illinois to describe climate trends, conducting a vulnerability assessment, determining and projecting the climate sensitive disease burden of Illinois, and assessing interventions at the State and local level to address the public health impacts from climate change. Increasing knowledge and awareness among state and local health department professionals, the emergency preparedness workforce, and the general public about the connections between climate change and public health is a large emphasis of BRACE-Illinois.