Seal of Dane County County of Dane
County Executive's Office

County Executive to Hold Community Forums on Climate Change Preparedness this Summer

June 17, 2013
Casey Slaughter Becker, Office of the County Executive 608.267.8823 or cell, 608.843.8858
County Executive

Local Governments, Businesses, Public to Learn About Adapting to
 Extreme Weather Events


Dane County Executive Joe Parisi is convening a series of forums this summer geared toward providing resources for local governments and private businesses interested in climate change preparedness.


The County Executive will facilitate the forums, which will provide attendees emergency preparedness resources –  including vulnerability assessment tools the county is currently utilizing through Parisi’s Climate Change Action Council.  Parisi created the action council several months ago to ensure county government is better prepared for weather extremes brought on by global climate change.  The effort is the first of its kind for a county in Wisconsin.


“As we have seen countless times in recent years, families, businesses, and communities all across this country have been left scrambling due to extreme weather events,” Parisi said.  It’s important we assess our climate change vulnerabilities and develop contingencies.  Whether record droughts, historic rains, or sweltering heat, they all have financial, economic, and public safety impacts that we can manage if we prepare now.”


Attendees will also receive a briefing from David Liebl, a climate change outreach specialist with UW-Extension and a member of the Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts-Science Council.  Liebl will provide highlights of a report compiled by scientists across Wisconsin entitled “Wisconsin’s Changing Climate: Impacts and Adaptation.”  The report predicts that Wisconsin's annual average temperature is likely to warm by 4-9 degrees within the next few decades and that intense rain events will become more frequent.


Liebl has been working with Dane County and communities and groups across the state to improve their understanding of climate change so they can be proactive in developing adaptation strategies for coping with extreme events. 


Participants in that process work through scenarios and questions such as: how would your community and/or business be impacted if it had to close operations due to high water for several days?  Would more than 40 days each summer of heat greater than 90 degrees affect your operations or budgets?


The forums will be held in three communities this summer and are open to the public:


Thursday, June 27th from 7pm to 8:30pm

Badger Prairie Health Center – Auditorium
1100 East Verona Ave., Verona



Wednesday, July 10th from 6pm to 7:30pm

Monona Community Center

1011 Nichols Rd., Monona



Wednesday, July 17th from 6pm to 7:30pm

Middleton Public Library

7425 Hubbard Ave., Middleton


Parisi’s Climate Change Action Council is currently completing its vulnerability assessment for county government, and will report recommendations of any changes or additional resources the county or its public safety partners may need to be better prepared for a changing climate. Some of those recommendations will be revealed at the summer climate change preparedness summits.


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