News & Events on Climate Resilience

  • A local resident works repairing a house roof a year after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, near Barceloneta, Puerto Rico, September 18, 2018, photo by Carlos Barria/Reuters

    What Can FEMA Learn from the Historic 2017 Hurricane and Wildfire Seasons?

    Feb 3, 2020

    When a hurricane comes ashore or a wildfire ignites, most of a community's vulnerability to the disaster is already set. Emergency managers—including FEMA, but also extending to the states and localities that are the first line of defense—could do much more to identify statewide risks and build community resilience long before an event makes headlines.

  • A firefighting helicopter makes a water drop on the Getty Fire as it burns in the hills of West Los Angeles, California, October 28, 2019, photo by Gene Blevins/Reuters

    A Climate Scientist's Brush with Wildfire

    Dec 18, 2019

    RAND researcher Robert Lempert was evacuated from the path of a wildfire. This experience emphasized for him the challenges of adapting to climate change, not merely because it is hard, but because it makes the familiar become unfamiliar in unexpected ways.

  • Wooden path with dry and lush landscape on either side, photo by leolintang/Getty Images

    How Voters Can Assess New Climate Plans

    Nov 14, 2019

    While the U.S. government has announced its intention to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement, most presidential candidates and many states have proposed climate plans of their own. How might voters determine if any of these plans can seriously address climate change?

  • An elderly couple leaves an evacuation center as a wildfire forces the center itself to be evacuated, Poway, California, October 21, 2007, photo by Mike Blake/Reuters

    Turning Off Power to Combat Wildfires Could Harm the Very People Who Need Protection

    Oct 28, 2019

    Intentionally shutting off power may be a practical way to prevent power lines from sparking wildfires. But is it worth the risks? Until more thoughtful and comprehensive decisions are made, planned power outages need to be planned better.

  • A woman walks along a road covered in smog due to a forest fire in Banjarbaru, South Kalimantan province, Indonesia, September 6, 2019, photo by Antara Foto Agency/Reuters

    Uncovering the Links Between Fires and Public Health in Equatorial Asia

    Oct 25, 2019

    Fires in Indonesia, if left unchecked, could cause an average of 36,000 premature deaths annually across Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore. Researchers built a tool that models the effect of the fires on public health.

  • Senior Policy Researcher Benjamin Preston, photo by Diane Baldwin/RAND Corporation

    The Science of Climate Policy: Q&A with Benjamin Preston

    Oct 22, 2019

    Benjamin Preston, a senior policy researcher and director of RAND's Community Health and Environmental Policy Program, specializes in climate risk and adaptation, disaster recovery, and resilience. In this Q&A, he discusses common misperceptions about climate change and how to decarbonize the U.S. economy.

  • Pittsburgh Researchers Investigate Some of Climate Change’s Most Critical Questions

    Sep 25, 2019

    How can science help cities respond to the challenges of climate change? Jordan Fischbach, co-director of the RAND Climate Resilience Center, spoke to Public Source for this article on how Pittsburgh researchers are addressing critical questions about our uncertain climate future.

  • Boats on the Musi River which was shrouded in smoke following an increase in fires in the region in Palembang, South Sumatra, Indonesia, September 16, 2018, photo by Antara Foto/Nova Wahyudi/Reuters

    We Built an App to Detect Areas Most Vulnerable to Life-Threatening Haze

    Sep 10, 2019

    Forest and land-use fires are ravaging Indonesia's Sumatra and Kalimantan islands. Haze from these fires is life-threatening; inhaling smoke can cause heart and respiratory diseases, leading to premature deaths. We developed a new tool to provide decisionmakers with information to protect people who live downwind.

  • A man walks among debris at the Mudd neighborhood, devastated after Hurricane Dorian hit the Abaco Islands in Marsh Harbour, Bahamas, September 6, 2019, photo by Marco Bello/Reuters

    Hurricane Recovery in the Bahamas: Turning Good Intentions into Good Decisions

    Sep 6, 2019

    Recovery in the Bahamas will have to be a balancing act. Plans will need to allow for transition toward long-term strategic goals for the nation, but also be mindful of not perpetuating inequities.

  • Car parking with autonomous self-driving parking assistant, photo by vchal/Getty Images

    Bargain-Hunting Robocars Could Spell the End for Downtown Parking: Cities Need to Plan Ahead Now

    Aug 29, 2019

    Imagine a scene from the near-future: You get dropped off downtown by a driverless car. You slam the door and head into your office or appointment. But then where does the autonomous vehicle go? It's a question that cities would be wise to consider now. Self-driving cars may be on the roads within the next decade or two.

  • A man walks through floodwaters to survey damage from Hurricane Sandy in the New Dorp Beach neighborhood of Staten Island, New York, November 1, 2012, photo by Lucas Jackson/Reuters

    How Citizen Scientists Are Protecting Their Communities

    Aug 29, 2019

    After Superstorm Sandy, residents of Brooklyn's Sunset Park neighborhood cleaned up debris, pumped out basements, and teamed up with researchers to find out what was in the floodwater. They established safety protocols to help local businesses prevent their chemicals from escaping and wrote a guide to help other communities.

  • PG&E works on power lines to repair damage caused by the Camp Fire in Paradise, California, November 21, 2018, photo by Elijah Nouvelage/Reuters

    Allocating Costs for California Wildfires

    Jul 24, 2019

    Wildfires in California have caused and will likely continue to cause substantial losses for residents, businesses, and government agencies. It is important to distribute these losses in a manner that provides incentives to reduce their magnitude over time.

  • An aerial view of the Colorado River in Arizona. Photo by Konoplytska / Getty Images

    Groves Discusses Decision Making for Arizona's Uncertain Water Future

    Mar 27, 2019

    RAND Climate Resilience Center co-director David Groves was a panelist for a plenary session on Decision Making in Uncertainty for the 10 Across Water Summit in Phoenix, Arizona. He spoke to KJZZ about the challenges of water resources planning when facing uncertain future conditions. Listen to the KJZZ interview or watch a recording of the panel.

  • Five glasses of water, with dirty water in the center, photo by hdere/Getty Images

    How to Ensure Quality Drinking Water Service for All? One Option Is Fewer Utilities.

    Mar 26, 2019

    California's Human Right to Water Bill declares that “every human being has the right to safe, clean, affordable, and accessible water.” One clear barrier to reaching this target is the sheer number of small water utilities that pose service sustainability and public health risks to their customers.

  • Department of Water and Power employees assess the damage from a broken 30-inch water main on Sunset Boulevard, next to the UCLA campus in the Westwood section of Los Angeles, July 30, 2014, photo by Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

    How Water Systems Can Learn From Smart Electric Grids

    Mar 22, 2019

    As drought and population growth place increasing pressure on water supply, the need to save and efficiently manage Southern California's water resources becomes increasingly critical. A single information and communication technology platform could go a long way toward moving water utilities from reactive to proactive maintenance practices.

  • Skyline of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, illustration by Malte Muller

    Resilience and Adaptation Strategies Can Address the Impacts of Climate Change

    Feb 26, 2019

    With climate change already generating storms, heat waves, and droughts beyond historical norms, local governments need to do more to prepare. A decisionmaking framework developed by RAND allows communities to stress-test ideas, weigh the trade-offs, and plan for a range of possible futures.

  • A boy on a bicycle cools off from the extreme heat from an opened fire hydrant in Brooklyn, New York, July 2, 2018

    Triaging Climate Change

    Jan 23, 2019

    There are many opportunities to manage climate risk around the world, but not everything can be saved. Delaying triage of climate damages could leave societies making ad hoc decisions instead of focusing on protecting the things they value most.

  • A guide explains the interior of a home designed by students of Middlebury College competing in the Solar Decathlon in Washington, September 26, 2011

    Can Innovative Financing by the Public and Private Sectors Build on Momentum in Energy Efficiency Improvements for Affordable Multifamily Housing?

    Dec 12, 2018

    Nearly one in three American households in 2015 reported difficulty paying their energy bills or sustaining adequate home heating and cooling. Emerging models of energy services and financing show promise, and could identify creative ways to increase access to funding that could preserve and improve home affordability for millions of Americans.

  • Work crews on boats gather to clean marshland impacted by oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill in the Barataria Bay of Louisiana, June 17, 2010.

    Overlapping Environmental Disasters Put a Strain on Gulf Communities

    Nov 29, 2018

    For Gulf Coast residents, dealing with the impact of the Deepwater Horizon disaster is challenging enough. With the Taylor Energy spill, they may face an even more daunting recovery, one that could take decades. Acknowledging the extent and complexity of recovery is the first step toward supporting coastal communities to build their resilience in the face of overlapping disasters.

  • Men sleep on a temporary shade built over a drain next to a slum on a hot summer day in New Delhi, India, May 28, 2015

    Mitigating India's Climate-Change Misery

    Oct 11, 2018

    Despite years of dire forecasts, the international community has been unable to halt the steady climb in global temperatures, and it is the world's poorest who are paying the heaviest toll. As heat-related risks intensify, those living on the margins—in India and elsewhere—will need help to cope effectively.

  • Eco-friendly law and eco balance concept

    Suggestions to Help EPA Successfully Implement Retrospective Reviews

    Jul 19, 2018

    The EPA's interest in including a systematic retrospective review element in new regulation has the potential to provide a transparent and well-structured method for assessing which decisions worked well and which didn't. If successful, it could serve as a role model for other regulatory agencies.

  • A man selling air coolers rests at a market on a hot summer day in Ahmedabad, India May 4, 2017

    Staying Cool as the Globe Warms

    Apr 23, 2018

    Studies suggest that the heat of the future will exceed humans' capacity to cope. But taking advantage of smart technology, inexpensive traditional methods of cooling that require little energy use, and innovative energy-efficient technologies could provide a sustainable path forward in heat-challenged regions.

  • Communities are seen surrounded by water and wetlands in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana, August 25, 2015

    Environmental Impact Bonds May Not Bear Fruit for Green Investors

    Nov 26, 2017

    Investors may be willing to accept a lower return for socially responsible investments. But environmental impact bonds may not be the best way to leverage these investment possibilities.

  • Aerial shot of coastal wetlands, Louisiana

    Louisiana Legislature Approves $50 Billion Coastal Master Plan

    Jun 2, 2017

    The recently approved Louisiana 2017 Coastal Master Plan refined the 2012 Plan by taking into account updated estimates of plausible future conditions and presenting an updated set of projects for implementation. RAND was a key partner in helping the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority develop its 2012 and 2017 Coastal Master Plan for a Sustainable Coast.

  • Strategy partners participate in a panel discussion: Moderator Katya Sienkiewicz, Bill Strickland, Ray Gastil, Anita Chandra, and George Fechter.

    RAND Partners with City of Pittsburgh on New Resilience Strategy

    Apr 18, 2017

    Over the past decade, Pittsburgh has built on its strengths as a hub for education, technology, and medicine, but it continues to face challenges as a result of its industrial legacy and in the face of 21st-century pressures from globalization, urbanization, and climate change. In March, the city released OnePGH: Pittsburgh's Resilience Strategy. Developed in partnership with RAND, the strategy will guide long-term, sustainable development in the region.