Climate change is affecting Oregonians: The effects of climate change can be seen throughout the world, in extreme and unpredictable weather patterns. In Oregon the effects of the changing climate are being seen with regional variations. Examples of these effects include: increased incidence and severity of forest fires, worsening air quality, decreases in snow pack, drought and dwindling ground and surface water supplies.
North Central Public Health District (NCPHD) joined four other Oregon counties and Oregon Health Authority (OHA) to develop a climate change adaptation plan: The Center for Disease Control’s (CDC’s) five step BRACE framework was used to investigate and prepare for regional public health climate change risks. NCPHD was one of 5 Oregon regions chosen to pilot this process. It was determined that the NCPHD region has robust systems and plans to address emergencies like severe winter storms, wildfires, floods and extreme heat.
Drought is a high-priority climate variable in need of attention in the NCPHD region: Drought develops more slowly than other climate events and the health effects are broad. Drought can affect the livelihoods of citizens and damage the region’s econmomy. It can threaten a way of life for individuals and communities, leading to health impacts such as anxiety, depression, substance abuse and domestic violence.
Promoting resiliency and readiness in our population: In alignment with the “Ten Essential Public Health Services”, NCPHD will inform, educate and empower people about climate and health issues. Services available to NCPHD residents are linked to this page.
Future planning and updates: The NCPHD Climate Action Plan shall be updated regularly with the participation of the NCPHD Climate Action Planning Team and in response to new climate and health discoveries or revisions of national standards or guidelines
To learn more: To read more detail on the process and planning for NCPHD’s response to climate change, look at the NCPHD Climate Adaptation Plan (PDF) or the Oregon Health Authority’s Climate and Health Resilience Plan.
NCPHD is now offering free well water testing for residents of Wasco, Sherman, and Gilliam Counties. Contact 541-506-2600 to find out if you are eligible.