Multnomah County Prepares For The Health Impacts Of Climate Change

Oct 10, 2013

Portland's Multnomah County today released a plan for responding to the health impacts of climate change.

Climate models predict hotter summers and wetter winters in the Northwest. Multnomah County health officials say that could mean more heat-related illnesses, mosquito-borne diseases, and asthma attacks. Kari Lyons-Eubanks is one of the authors of the county's response plan. She says some people in the Portland metro area are especially vulnerable to the health impacts of climate change.

Lyons-Eubanks: "We know that people who are most vulnerable are elders, homeless population, people of color, low-income community members. These are all people who don't have the means to adapt or get out of town."

The response plan suggests developing early warning systems for high heat days, improving communication with vulnerable communities and adding more cooling centers around the city. It also recommends adding more green space to cool down certain neighborhoods.

Copyright 2013 Oregon Public Broadcasting