skip navigation Smaller text size Reset text size Larger text size
Families & Children Women Teens Adults Seniors People with Disabilities
DHHS Home > Division of Public Health Services >
Climate and Health Program

New Hampshire Flood Safety Awareness Week – March 15-19, 2021
Many seasonal weather events can lead to floods, including heavy spring rains, rapid spring melting, summer thunderstorms, hurricanes and tropical storms. People are at-risk for injuries before, during and after a flood. Learn how to protect yourself:

  • Before a Flood
    Preparing for extreme weather includes activities like covering windows, setting sand bags or buying supplies. Injuries before a flood may include slips, falls, and vehicle accidents.
  • During a Flood
    Responding to extreme weather can include sheltering in place, evacuating, or helping others. Injuries during a flood may include cuts, scrapes, trauma, heart attack, electrocution, burns, carbon monoxide poisoning and car crashes. Remember to work in teams and
  • After a Flood
    Cleaning up after extreme weather can include lifting, hauling, cleaning, and clearing debris. Injuries after a flood may include trauma from slips and falls during cleanup, allergies and asthma from dampness or exposure to mold, and also emotional stress from personal loss and economic hardships.
  • Flood Injury Rules of Thumb
    • Make an emergency plan and practice it with your household.
    • Prepare a home emergency kit to last three days of food, water and supplies.
    • Prepare a first aid kit big enough for the whole family.
    • Prepare a kit with work clothes, boots and gloves.
    • Create a communications plan to reach your loved ones.


Climate Videos

Learn how climate can affect your community’s health, and what you can do. These videos present the health impacts of extreme heat, storms, and flooding; poor air quality, and the spread of disease—and how we can address those changes.

CDC climate video screenshot

Severe Weather, Climate and Health

New Hampshire residents are concerned about the impact of extreme weather events like heat waves, storms, and floods that have increased over the past few decades. People are also concerned about the slow rise in temperature that is predicted to continue for the coming decades in the Northeast (National Climate Assessment: Human Health).

Changes in our climate in New Hampshire will likely affect important issues such as heat injuries, allergy, asthma and infectious disease. In light of these facts, public health officials can begin to evaluate the risk of extreme weather events in their location, and plan for changing conditions, and changing health trends. A NH Climate Action Plan is being coordinated by the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, and has specific recommendations for addressing public health issues. An informed planning effort will allow us to meet the challenges ahead with more focused resources and build more resilient communities.

Our vision is that New Hampshire and its local communities will have organized, coordinated and effective systems in place to identify, prevent, prepare for, and respond to health hazards associated with our changing climate. The NH DHHS is part of a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-funded national collaboration called the Climate Ready States and Cities Initiative (CRSCI) to help local communities prepare for public health impacts."

Severe Weather and Heat Injuries

  • Changing climate patterns have caused increased temperatures, and may lead to more heat stress.
  • Rainfall and precipitation are predicted to increase, yet will likely occur as fewer, heavier rain events, separated by longer dry periods or droughts.
  • More severe weather events will likely cause injuries, such as direct trauma from high winds, heat stress from rising temperatures, and drowning or trauma from flooding.
  • Populations at risk include the very old, the very young, and those with chronic illness or poor health status. Special groups with social needs (i.e. poverty, homeless, etc.) may need increased social services.
  • People who spend more time outdoors, such as laborers and athletes, are at greater risk for injury.

Suggested Individual Actions for the Public

  • Protect yourself and children by preparing for severe weather events with a home disaster plan.
  • Build a disaster kit for each person in your home, with a three-day supply of food, water, and any medicines or special items they will need.

Suggested Public Health Actions

  • Public health officials at the state and local level should develop tracking systems to monitor the health effects of extreme weather.
  • Identify populations at risk for disasters (i.e. people living in coastal areas, floodplains, and by rivers) and coordinate with human service agencies to implement prevention and response plans.
  • Develop a comprehensive plan for the management of the effects of severe weather including flooding, water damage/mold, ice damage, water shortages, and heat injury. The NH State Hazard Mitigation Plan provides a guide to assessing regional risks and hazards.

Respiratory Illness

  • Climate change may increase the number of air pollution action days, and change pollen/mold levels outside and allergen levels indoors.
  • Sensitive populations with asthma, allergies, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and other chronic respiratory conditions may be triggered more often or more severely.
  • Healthy people may have an increased risk of developing respiratory disease, and will have to stay indoors more frequently to avoid pollution.
  • Populations at risk include the very old, very young, homeless, outdoor workers and active athletes.

Suggested Individual Actions for the Public

  • Protect yourself and children from air pollution by listening for Air Quality Alerts and pollen reports.
  • Know your own triggers for asthma/allergies, and treat them with environmental controls to reduce your triggers or use appropriate medication.

Suggested Public Health Actions

  • Develop surveillance tools to track the public health impacts of poor air quality.
  • Coordinate human service agencies to identify populations at risk for respiratory illness, and then develop prevention and response plans.
  • Provide targeted outreach to populations at risk to reduce asthma and allergy events.

Infectious Diseases

Suggested Individual Actions for the Public

  • Protect yourself and children from mosquito and tick bites.
  • Know the signs and symptoms of illnesses such as Lyme disease, EEE, and West Nile Virus infection.
  • Learn about the changing climate, and conserve energy.

Suggested Public Health Actions

  • Continue active surveillance for human and animal illness, such as acute encephalitis (brain swelling), during the summer months
  • Continue funding of insect virus (arboviral) surveillance via trapping, testing, and analysis.
  • Increase regular disease surveillance for human cases of West Nile, EEE, and Lyme Disease.
  • Support integrated health surveillance networks, such as the NH Environmental Public Health Tracking program (EPHT).
  • Develop a long term policy for tracking the patterns of insects (i.e. vector surveillance), including regular trapping of mosquitoes and ticks.

Adobe Acrobat Reader Symbol Adobe Acrobat Reader format. You can download a free reader from Adobe.

Translate this page


New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services
129 Pleasant Street | Concord, NH | 03301-3852

copyright 2016. State of New Hampshire