NEW YORK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Protecting the infrastructure of American cities from the effects of climate change is rising on the agenda of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, according to a top agency official.
“Increasingly, we’ve moved not only from a security focus to a resiliency focus,” said Caitlin Durkovich, assistant secretary for infrastructure protection at Homeland Security, an agency better known for its fight to curb terrorist threats.
Durkovich spoke Thursday on a panel at the Rising Seas Summit, a three-day conference organized by the U.S.-based Association of Climate Change Officers to discuss tools and ideas on building resiliency, particularly against rising sea levels.
In the aftermath of 2012’s Hurricane Sandy, which devastated large swathes of the Northeastern U.S and caused over $60 billion in damages, Durkovich said her department reviewed the task of rebuilding with a new focus on “how to think about baking in resilience from the get-go.”
To that end, she said, she has assembled a team of specialists, including city planners, in conjunction with the National Academy of Science to develop better tools for planning. The Department of Homeland Security already has launched regional efforts to assess resilience of infrastruction and judge where gaps in adaptation and preparedness may be, she said.
Full story here: http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/09/25/us-foundation-climate-security-idUSKCN0HK2PW20140925