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Health district tackles climate change

Over a period of two years, staff from North Central Public Health District participated with members of Oregon Health Authority and four other Oregon counties to focus on climate change in their respective regions and how it might affect the health of citizens.

Various climate change scenarios were considered (like extreme winter storms, flooding, wild fires, and drought) as well as the effects on human health. An analysis was conducted to identify what the community was well prepared for and what gaps existed.

Ultimately, drought was chosen as a consequence of climate change our region was likely to experience and least prepared for. Visit the new health district website and you will find a webpage for Climate Change. The NCPHD Climate Change Adaptation Plan is posted on the webpage as well as resources for the NCPHD region.

A broad array of resources have been listed, which range from water conservation and well water testing, OSU Extension services, gardening, and even social services such as mental health and addictions counseling.

The reason for the breadth of resources listed is because drought is a chronic problem that develops over time. Its effects are far reaching. Drought affects agriculture and rural economies, and ultimately both mental and physical health.

Citizens will benefit from knowing how to reduce water usage, how to insure the safety of their water, and who to turn to for help.

One pearl of wisdom that is emerging from various climate disasters worldwide is that populations with a strong sense of community tend to bounce back from adverse events better than those without. Knowing your neighbors and being involved helps build resiliency, and if we are to face uncertainty in our futures, we want to be resilient.

The new NCPHD website can be accessed at NCPHD.org or at their old link: wshd.org.

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