Minnesota’s Strategic Adaptation Plan (2010) identifies public health threats from climate change and states the necessity of improving its public health system’s capacity to respond to these threats, particularly for vulnerable populations. Minnesota’s health department worked with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Building Resilience Against Climate Effects program to develop a vulnerability assessment to better understand (e.g., where health conditions might worsen due to climate change) and characterize the state’s composite climate hazard risk. The assessment enabled the state to identify the counties facing the most significant climate risks based upon threats from extreme heat, outdoor air quality, vector borne diseases and water quality and quantity concerns.
The assessment also led the state to downscale vulnerability and other climate information to make it more accessible and applicable for regional use. To facilitate local action within vulnerable regions, Minnesota provides tools and resources to local municipalities to better prepare residents and reduce the climate-related public health threat. Minnesota’s resilience tools, some examples of which are the “Extreme Heat Toolkit” and a Climate 101 Training, are available to increase the adaptive capacity within vulnerable counties as they anticipate and prepare for the future. Through such resources and actions noted above, Minnesota is helping its public health system -- public health professionals, healthcare providers, and other health officials -- better anticipate and prepare for future climate risk and reduce projected vulnerabilities.