Vulnerability and risk assessments allow communities to evaluate their community’s vulnerability to current and future flooding problems. Delaware Sea Grant’s Natural Hazard and Climate Change Adaptation Tool Kit for Delaware Communities was developed to assist communities in identifying planning, mitigation, and adaptation opportunities that will help reduce vulnerabilities to natural hazards and climate impacts.
Divided into three parts, the Tool Kit provides guidance on choosing a planning approach and level of community engagement, ways to identify and prioritize vulnerabilities, and selecting actions for a hazard mitigation and climate change adaptation plan. The Tool Kit highlights the use of resources to explain the science behind climate change and geographic information system (GIS) mapping as a valuable tool to visualize flooding and inundation hazards. Using GIS maps during a public workshop enables participants to identify infrastructure, populations, economic areas, and natural resources vulnerable to flooding and inundation. Additional public input can identify vulnerabilities that are unable to be mapped and help prioritize community vulnerabilities. Once social, infrastructural, and natural vulnerabilities are identified and categorized, they should be prioritized based on their sensitivity and adaptive capacity. Next, actions should be considered, selected, and prioritized to implement a Natural Hazard Mitigation and Climate Change Adaptation Plan.