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Extreme weather events including wildfires and hurricanes are becoming increasingly hazardous due to climate change, and often result in transient or permanent population displacements. Disaster-related disruptions in infrastructure, workforce, wages, and social networks can combine with population displacements to result in interruptions in health care access and prolonged impacts on morbidity and mortality. The data needed to make health systems and emergency management approaches more resilient to these hazards, and more responsive to the needs of affected populations, are sequestered in silos across private corporations and public agencies. In two case studies, we describe how our research team at CrisisReady negotiated access to privately held and novel data sources like anonymized geolocation data from cell-phones, while striking a balance between data security and public health utility. We describe how our analytic tools are embedded into disaster response workflows by co-developing our research questions and outputs with responders and policy-makers. ReadyMapper, an interactive data visualization tool to track population mobility, infrastructure damage, and health system capacity, in near real-time, was deployed during wildfires in California and during the Hurricane Ida response in Louisiana. The Data-Methods-Translational framework we have developed is scalable and relies on sharing science and co-creating products with policy makers and response agencies to ensure real-world applicability. These attributes make the framework particularly useful for formulating evidence-based approaches to protect human health through climate change adaptation.


This article was originally published in The Journal of Climate Change and Health, volume 9, in 2023.


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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.