This guide provides actionable steps and sample materials to assist health systems and community organizations in conducting an exercise aimed at identifying vulnerabilities and inequities and preparing for climate impacts.
Partnering for climate resilience: A practical guide to community-based disaster planning for health care provides a new approach to disaster planning and climate preparedness built on a partnership between health systems and the communities they serve working together to plan for and mitigate the impacts of climate change. The guide provides a playbook and sample materials for health care institutions to partner with emergency planners, public health professionals, and community-based organizations to run a disaster scenario exercise to identify and address vulnerabilities and enable communities to better withstand climate impacts.
This guide is based primarily on lessons learned during the planning, execution, and follow-up to a Department of Homeland Security (DHS)-style "tabletop" disaster preparedness exercise on extreme heat that Health Care Without Harm and its community and health care partners conducted in December 2021 in Springfield, Massachusetts. Participation in that exercise broadened the community's understanding of needs and concerns and identified support networks that could be mobilized in the event of a climate or other emergency. We intend for this guide's templates, exercises, resources, and lessons learned to inspire and inform similar efforts by health care systems nationwide.