National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Adapted with permission.
Think about the weather and environment where you live. Have you ever been in a strong storm? Have you ever experienced flooding, a wildfire, or really hot days? These types of environmental hazards are happening more often because of climate change. Even though these events can be scary, there is so much you can do in your own community to make it better able to handle these challenges. When we work together to protect our communities from environmental hazards, we are building community resilience.
Every community has people, places, and resources that contribute to resilience. See if you can find these assets within your own community by answering the following questions. Make sure you enlist the help of a trusted adult as you go out in search of these things.
- Piece of paper
- Pen or pencil
- Computer with internet access
Write down your answers to the following questions. For some of them, you might want to look up information online or go outside and explore your community.
- What is the name of your community?
- Does your community have a city hall, city council, or other center for decisionmaking? Describe it. Is it at the center of your community?
- Is there a community center or place that people like to gather? Why do you think people like to gather there?
- Are there green spaces in your community, like parks or gardens, botanical centers, or other special natural areas like forests and mountains? Which is your favorite to visit (or if you haven’t visited it, which do you want to visit the most)?
- Are there paths or sidewalks so that you can walk safely to the parks and learning centers in your community? Look up your community’s walkability score at www.walkscore.com.
- Do you need a car to get around your community? Is there a bus system, train, subway/metro, or other public transportation? Are there bike lanes on the roads? Are there bike, scooter, or car share programs?
- What environmental hazards affect your community? Examples of hazards include flooding, extreme heat, sinkholes, wildfires, hurricanes, winter storms, and tornadoes. What was the most recent hazard? Find a news article about it or get a first-hand account from a neighbor and write a short summary.
- Are there organizations working to help your community become more resilient and prepare for environmental hazards? What is the name of one of these organizations, and what are they doing to improve the community?
To learn more about building community resilience to extreme weather, climate change, and other environmental hazards and to access an activity book full of activities, visit www.noaa.gov/resilience-activity-book. Complete the activity book to see what badge you earn!
SEP: Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information
DCI: Weather and Climate; Natural Hazards
CCC: Patterns; Cause and Effect
11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
13: Climate Action