Baltimore is highly vulnerable to many natural hazards, ranging from coastal storms and flooding to extreme heat and high winds. There is strong consensus that these types of extreme events will increase, both in frequency and intensity, over the coming years.
In 2012, the Baltimore Office of Sustainability, utilizing federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding, embarked on a process to create a Climate Action Plan (CAP) for the City of Baltimore. The process developed emission reduction goals and strategies for mitigating climate change. The CAP called for the creation of a city-wide Climate Adaptation Plan to provide guidance for dealing with extreme natural hazard events and climate change.
Recognizing the City’s current vulnerability to the impacts of hazard events, Baltimore has undertaken a thorough, proactive approach to the hazard mitigation planning process. In 2013, The Baltimore City Department of Planning and Office of Sustainability created the Disaster Preparedness Project and Plan (DP3) as an effort to address existing hazards while simultaneously preparing for predicted hazards due to climate change. This project develops an integrated All Hazards Mitigation Plan (AHMP), floodplain mapping effort, and Climate Adaptation Plan program that link research, outreach, and actions to assure implementation of a comprehensive, new risk-preparedness system for addressing existing and future impacts. Integrating hazard mitigation planning, which focuses on past events, with climate adaptation planning, which focuses on what will likely happen in the future, offers a positive, win-win solution for Baltimore City.