Climate Change: Another Level of Stress for Public Safety

The increase of storms, floods and natural disasters further stress emergency responders that work to keep their communities and citizens safe.


NEW HAVEN, CONNECTICUT — With extreme weather becoming more common due to climate change, natural disasters pose a risk of increased stress for first responders. Editor-in-Chief Greg Friese recently discussed the issue with Yale Climate Connections, and said disasters can have an emotional toll on emergency responders because they usually live in the community they serve.

“They show up to work and keep working, likely with the knowledge that their living room is under two feet of water, and their family is driving hours away or attempting to ride out the storm on the second floor of the house,” Friese said.

Friese added that extreme weather incidents are a strain on already limited resources, and that cities should make sure their emergency departments are well-funded and prepared for natural disasters.

We’re already in a situation for a lot of communities, where resources, whether it be EMS, police or fire, are sort of at their max on a daily basis,” he said. “Then you add in some sort of extreme weather event or wildfire and that’s a real challenge for that community and its public safety personnel to deal with.”

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