Regardless of public and governmental efforts to limit greenhouse gas emissions, considerable changes will be inevitable in the future. Although the climate mitigation remains a priority task for today, the competent authorities and concerned individuals must take an active position and develop a comprehensive plan aimed at limiting damages and their associated costs. If every person takes immediate actions to adapt to the global warming and other environmental issues, he/she will have a greater opportunity to diminish the adverse impact of unpredictable environmental changes. The current paper seeks to describe the importance of adaptation, and the projected impacts of global warming, particularly in the field of emergency management, and to show how communities can mitigate and adapt to global warming through comprehensive planning, and how federal programs can be better utilized to assist with adaptation.
Measures aimed at mitigating and adapting to climatic changes are interrelated with each other. Future conditions will change because of already released emissions. Therefore, preparation is essential. Programs and comprehensive strategies of municipalities have to include such aspects as the adaptation to and mitigation of adverse environmental changes (Haddow, Bullock, & Coppola, 2011). A set of vital activities implemented by the officials and communities will significantly lessen the negative effects on vulnerable populations. If urgent and effective measures are not taken, there will be a threat of a high average temperature that may negatively affect lives of millions of people throughout the world. Even in the severe cases, adaptation measures will not be sufficient to guarantee someone’s well-being. If hazardous emissions are successfully restricted, carbon dioxide will be slowly eliminated from the atmosphere, thus negatively affecting the environment for decades to come (Bullock, Haddow, & Haddow, 2009). Therefore, the local authorities need to demonstrate their preparedness for the future events and forecast the nature of possible changes and their consequences. Adequate preparation will help to respond to various environmental challenges in a proper manner (Martens, McEvoy, & Chang, 2009).
If the competent authorities do not change the current policy regarding the environmental issues, including the sustainable development of emergency management and mitigation of climatic changes, the global greenhouse gas emissions will grow at an alarming rate in the next years. Analysts expect that regardless of the natural events, gas, coal, oil, and fossil fuels will continue to be the main source of energy until 2030 (Dorian, Franssen, & Simbeck, 2006). Greenhouse gas emissions at a current or higher level will generate further warming and bring irreversible changes in the global climate system. The outcome will be much worse in comparison with the past century. Extreme weather events will lead to emergencies and slow-down progress (Bullock, Haddow, & Haddow, 2009). Natural cataclysms, coupled with rising sea level, are expected to be largely unfavorable to people.
Numerous studies are dedicated to the examination of world’s climate that is drastically changing. Therefore, every emergency manager must take into consideration the implications of climatic changes regardless of the major cause of the natural disaster. However, current trends may present significant challenges to specialists who conduct an in-depth analysis of incidents occurred (Bullock, Haddow, & Haddow, 2009). Climatic changes are particularly challenging when they are examined in combination with such aspects as an increase in the urban population and outdated infrastructure. Environmentalists and scientists consider that today’s storms have become more intense in comparison with the past decades.
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The main goal of adaptation is to diminish people’s vulnerability to the harmful effects caused by climatic changes. Throughout the history of humankind, the communities have taught how to adjust to and deal with extremes and emergencies in an effective manner. Nowadays, municipalities are at the frontline of adaptation. If the international institutions do not develop an adequate climate policy, the local communities across the world will be forced to solve environmental issues on their own (Bullock, Haddow, & Haddow, 2009). The cities nationwide and worldwide work on installing waterproof pavements, constructing flood defenses, and improving water storage.
Private, as well as public, sectors try to address climatic changes in a proper manner. The local agencies have developed mitigation and adaptation approaches. Any land-use decision and level of air pollution caused by transportation affect the level of emission of greenhouse gas in the atmosphere (Haddow, Bullock, & Coppola, 2011). The communities develop practical strategies, and comprehensive plans that focus on conducting the energy audit and environmental reviews, taking radical climate actions, and promoting energy reduction, effective use of land and scarce resources. In reality, the role of planning in dealing with climatic changes is complicated due to the scale of natural disasters. Therefore, the resolution of an issue requires an adequate multi-governmental approach that will guarantee a positive outcome.
Federal mitigation programs can be better utilized through the community’s joint efforts. It will help everyone to adapt to climatic changes and respond to all environmental issues timely. The competent authorities need to step forward to address the environmental challenge; their activities, programs, and policies should focus on preparedness and adaptation. Every federal agency has to develop institutional mechanisms and rationally use resources in order to adapt to changes successfully (Haddow, Bullock, & Coppola, 2011). Resiliency efforts vary widely because of the region’s needs. However, they include recent infrastructure modifications, decision-making tools, valuable information, and new standards. Actions taken by the federal agencies provide necessary guidelines, promote close cooperation, allocate financial resources to the cities and states, as well as improve current conditions.
Nowadays, there are many well-documented effects of global warming and other environmental issues on the ecosystem and scarce natural resources. Experts forecast that if everything remains the same, climate conditions will drastically change in the future. Adverse climate effects significantly influence the activity of a first responder and emergency management leader. One’s ability to adapt to changes depends on continued efforts and steps taken by the federal, state, and local governments. A coordinated approach developed by all actors involved will significantly alleviate the pressing issues of protecting the natural environment and guarantee long-term prosperity.
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