Certain People and Places are Affected More

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Climate change will affect everyone, but certain people and certain places will be affected more than others:

  • Some people are more exposed to climate-related health impacts, such as extreme heat, flooding from extreme weather events, and tickborne diseases. These include outdoor workers and hobbyists, homeless people, people living in flood plains, or people living on upper stories of buildings in urban areas (which can be especially hot in summer).

  • Others may have health vulnerabilities due to age (the elderly, babies, and children), having a chronic or pre-existing medical condition, or being on certain medications.

  • Even people in good current health but lacking economic, social, or political resources may have less ability than others to reduce their risks, prevent impacts from occurring, and recover from impacts when they occur.

It is critical to identify individuals and communities that may be particularly vulnerable to climate-related health impacts, and to take actions to ensure that they do not suffer disproportionately from climate impacts. For example, a home-bound elderly person living alone may be especially vulnerable during a heat wave or extreme weather event. Learn more about how climate change affects health

Below are resources to help you learn more about how to identify and address vulnerabilities.



Vermont Heat Vulnerability Index Mapping Tool

The Vermont Heat Vulnerability Index draws together 17 different measures of vulnerability in six different themes: population, socioeconomic, health, environmental, climate, and heat illness. These measures are combined to measure the overall vulnerability of Vermont towns to heat-related events.

Vermont Social Vulnerability Index Mapping Tool

This is a planning tool to evaluate the relative social vulnerability across the state. It can be used if there is a disease outbreak or in the event of an emergency—either natural or human-caused—to identify populations that may need more help.

Flood Ready Vermont: Assess Your Community’s Risk 

Flood Ready Vermont is a great resource for communities and community organizations to better understand flood hazards in their area and use mapping tools to help identify areas of flood risk.

Climate Change, Health and Populations of Concern

Communication materials from the Environmental Protection Agency that summarize key points from the U.S. Climate and Health Assessment for eight different populations that are disproportionately affected by climate change impacts.

Assessing Health Vulnerability to Climate Change: A Guide for Health Departments

This guide uses the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Building Resilience Against Climate Effects (BRACE) framework to help health departments prepare for and respond to climate change.

Climate Change, Health and Equity: Opportunities for Action

This report from the Public Health Institute explores the many ways in which climate change, health, and equity are connected.

Vermont Heat Vulnerability Index Technical Report

This report provides a description of and rationale for the methods used to produce the Vermont Heat Vulnerability Index.

Vermont Heat Vulnerability Index Summary

This is a two-page summary description of the Vermont Heat Vulnerability Index.

Vermont Social Vulnerability Index Summary

This is a two-page summary description of the Vermont Social Vulnerability Index.

Vermont Cyanobacteria (Blue-Green Algae Tracker)

The Cyanobacteria (Blue-Green Algae) Tracker allows the public to check recent cyanobacteria bloom status at shoreline sites and recreational swimming areas of Lake Champlain and various inland lakes in Vermont.

Vermont Interactive Climate Tools

The Climate Change Mapping Tool and Climate Data Grapher Tool can be used to explore what climate change will mean for the state and for particular regions and communities.

Illness and Death Due to Hot and Cold Weather

A data brief that illustrates the burden of heat-related versus cold-related illness and death in general, as well as in terms of whether or not the illness or death occurred at home.

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