Performing a risk and vulnerability assessment is a critical first step in developing comprehensive adaptation and mitigation strategies for addressing climate change impacts. In general, a comprehensive assessment for non-coastal municipalities would likely focus more on the effects of high summer temperatures, severe rain and wind storms, and the associated power outages. Power outages can be dangerous to certain vulnerable populations as they result in indoor temperature extremes, and non-functioning elevators and medical equipment.
Assets are places or things where economic, environmental, and social functions of the community take place, or are the critical infrastructure required to support those functions. The Climate Smart Resiliency Planning Evaluation Tool for New York State Communities recommends a number of measures to increase the resiliency of New York State communities. Most measures begin with an identification of vulnerable assets and populations. A vulnerability assessment is then performed of Town-owned or controlled sites and facilities, infrastructure, contaminated sites, utilities, transportation systems, building stock (commercial and residential), emergency facilities, parks/recreation/public access areas, vulnerable populations (should be updated on a regular schedule and/or as new data becomes available). Finally, an implementation plan is developed and responsibilities assigned for specific actions to individuals or organizations, and timelines are established for each action.