Climate Change Potential Vulnerability Analysis

Climate change is affecting the residents of Montgomery County.  From record heat to intense storms like Ida, Montgomery County is experiencing the impacts of climate change.  Scientific studies show that our region will become increasing hotter and we will experience more intense and frequent storm events.  Understanding the populations, places, and infrastructure that may be affected is critical for our communities as they adapt and become more resilient to climate change.  To assist our stakeholders gain a better understanding of climate change and its effects, the Montgomery County Planning Commission has created the Climate Change Potential Vulnerability Analysis.

To help our stakeholders better understand how climate change will affect the county, the Montgomery County Planning Commission has created the Climate Change Potential Vulnerability Analysis. The impacts of climate change to the region will be numerous. However, to complete this analysis we have focused on just two risk indexes characterizing extreme heat and flooding. Other impacts such as enhanced winter storms, worsening air and water quality, and crop yield disruption are not quantified.

More specifically, the Climate Change Potential Vulnerability Analysis combines readily accessible information on sociodemographic, health factors and critical infrastructure locales with historical temperature and flooding data from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Montgomery County Division of Emergency Management and the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission to create impacts indices for heat, flooding, and potentially disadvantaged populations.  Published as an interactive-online tool, the Climate Change Potential Vulnerability Analysis that allows users to learn more about climate change and then explore the County to learn about the impacts of increased heat and storm events.  The Climate Change Potential Vulnerability Analysis identifies areas of the County that are particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change relative to the rest of the County.

The Climate Change Potential Vulnerability Analysis does not aim to prescribe strategies for municipalities instead, we recommend the Tool be utilized to learn more about communities that may be more at risk to weather-related disasters and encourage further exploration at a more local level. For example, we hope our municipal managers, planners and others will apply the Climate Change Potential Vulnerability Analysis:

  • Conducting rapid assessments of the relative vulnerability of neighborhoods to climate change;
  • Identifying the most critical risk factors for a municipality;
  • Highlighting target neighborhoods or municipalities that warrant more in-depth study and research;
  • Detecting infrastructure components that may be threatened by climate change impacts; or
  • Drawing attention to opportunities to implement sustainability priorities across municipal boundaries.

Project Team

  • Jon Lesher, Environmental Planning Assistant Manager, Montgomery County Planning Commission
  • Ellis Foley, Environmental Planner II, Montgomery County Planning Commission
  • Jason Emmel, GIS Coordinator, Montgomery County Planning Commission

In addition, a special thanks for guidance and data assistance to:

  • Drew Shaw, Montgomery County Planning Commission
  • Adam Beam, Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission
  • Joe Anna Haelig, Montgomery County Division of Emergency Management
  • Dr. David Hondula, Arizona State University

User Comments

Comments on the Climate Change Potential Vulnerability Analysis are being accepted. Comments may be submitted through the Vulnerability Forum. Comments will be reviewed every couple of weeks and constructive feedback will included in periodically updates of the Tool as well as other related resources.