What you need to know, currently.
Scientists have found that nearly a third of the metropolitan areas on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts are at risk of at least half of their hospitals enduring some flooding during a hurricane, according to a recent study published in GeoHealth.
There is 0.82 meters of sea level rise expected during this century due to climate change. This increases the odds of hospital flooding, for example, by 22%.
The areas with the greatest risk are located in hurricane-prone states – like Florida and Texas. Cities like New York and Boston, however, are still vulnerable, especially as they lack some of the infrastructure of their more prepared, southern neighbors.
As climate change continues, hurricanes will intensify and the risk of flooding will increase, limiting access to the basic needs that many have become accustomed to, like hospitals or medical supplies.
“Hurricanes are enormously disruptive to health care access,” Aaron Bernstein, an author of the study, told Inside Climate News. “And I think this paper underscores how we need to reconcile this reality with the realities of what health care delivery looks like in our country, which is highly fragmented based on networks of care and insurers.”
While changing the injustices embedded in the US’s current healthcare system is a long-term goal, it’s important to have a warning and evacuation system for both yourself and your community so that when a climate disaster strikes, no one is left behind.
What you can do, currently.