We have undertaken a comprehensive assessment of our services’ resilience to extreme weather as a starting point to understanding potential vulnerabilities to climate change.
The Weather Impacts Assessment (WIA) aims to raise awareness of the importance of planned adaptation to the effects of a changing climate. It highlights areas of preparedness and areas of vulnerability to extreme weather over the past 10 years by describing how weather has affected the council’s services and how they responded.
Whilst the study highlights a small selection of vulnerabilities, which are being managed through our risk management processes, generally we are resilient to extreme weather because our existing business continuity and emergency planning arrangements function well and there is an overwhelming desire and commitment from staff to maintain service continuity.
The WIA has provided the catalyst to ensure that present day extreme weather and the more intense and frequent extreme weather projected for the future due to climate change is being considered in the council’s long term projects and decisions. Work is underway to ensure this occurs so that council services are prepared.
Services are encouraged to identify how climate change will affect their operations and put in place appropriate responses as part of the authority’s risk management procedures.
Highways Management is the first service area to have undertaken a formal review. Service Resilience in a Changing Climate considers how DCC’s Highways Management service could be affected by the gradual change in average weather and more intense severe weather over the 21st century. Climate change will have widespread negative effects on the Highways Management service; rising temperatures and sea levels, changing rainfall patterns and variations in humidity could all require modification to current design, maintenance and operational procedures.