In recent years, Baltimore has made great strides in becoming a more sustainable City. In 2012, the Office of Sustainability created 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 in addition to a changing climate. Baltimore’s Disaster Preparedness Project and Plan (DP3) was adopted the following year, in October 2013.
To become a more resilient City, Baltimore must be prepared for the worst. Recognizing that the climate is changing, the City has taken proactive steps to ensure that Baltimore is able to respond to future natural hazards and capable of quickly bouncing back from any disaster.
The DP3 propels Baltimore to the forefront of national sustainability, preparedness, and resiliency efforts. The feasible strategies and actions identified within the Plan will help Baltimore to reduce risk, integrate redundancy into our existing systems, and increase our overall resiliency while also contributing to the City’s goal of achieving economic, equitable, and environmental growth.
Baltimore is growing again, and as new families return to the City it is our responsibility to assure that our communities are resilient to the changing climate. The DP3 was developed to address existing hazards, while simultaneously preparing for future hazard events that are predicted as a result of climate change. In fact, records confirm that the natural hazards which Baltimore has faced in the past are already growing in both severity and intensity.
The plan integrates hazard mitigation with climate adaptation efforts that will help Baltimore minimize its vulnerabilities, reduce or eliminate loss of life and property damage, upgrade essential infrastructure and buildings, integrate redundancy into our existing systems, and increase overall resiliency to natural hazards. Although the City has already made tremendous headway in reducing risk and in increasing hazard and climate change awareness, great strides must still be taken before we can truly reach a comfortable level of resiliency. Even then, we must not let down our guard; the City of Baltimore must always be prepared and one step ahead. While it is true that Baltimore cannot entirely stop the powerful forces of Mother Nature, we absolutely must do what we can to protect our people and property and enhance our natural systems.