Climatic changes have increased the world-wide frequency of extreme weather events such as heat waves, cold spells, floods, storms and droughts. These extreme events potentially affect the health status of millions of people, increasing disease and death. Since mitigation of climate change is a long and complex process, emphasis has recently been placed on the measures required for adaptation. Although the principles underlying these measures are universal, preparedness plans and policies need to be tailored to local conditions. In this paper, we conducted a review of the literature on the possible health consequences of extreme weather events in Israel, where the conditions are characteristic of the Mediterranean region. Strong evidence indicates that the frequency and duration of several types of extreme weather events are increasing in the Mediterranean Basin, including Israel. We examined the public health policy implications for adaptation to climate change in the region, and proposed public health adaptation policy options. Preparedness for the public health impact of increased extreme weather events is still relatively limited and clear public health policies are urgently needed. These include improved early warning and monitoring systems, preparedness of the health system, educational programs and the living environment. Regional collaboration should be a priority.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2013 Green et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Policy
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health