Welcome to the State of California 

Preparing for Climate Change in California - A Public Health Approach

CalBRACE: California Building Resilience against Climate Effects


The goals of the CalBRACE project are to enhance the California Department of Public Health’s (CDPH) capability to plan for and reduce health risks associated with climate change. The program provides resources and technical assistance for the state and local public health departments to build climate adaptation capacity and enhance resilience at the local and regional levels. CalBRACE is funded by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and joins 15 other states and two cities across the United States that are also conducting climate adaptation planning efforts from a public health perspective through the CDC Climate Ready States and Cities Initiative.

Contact CalBRACE Project

California Department of Public Health
Office of Health Equity – Policy Unit
850 Marina Bay Parkway, Mail Stop P3-119
Richmond, CA 94804

Why is CalBRACE needed?

Efforts are underway to identify and understand how climate change is affecting our health and to enhance preparedness and resilience to the specific threats and changes posed by climate change at the state and local level. Climate change threatens our health now and will continue to impact our way of life. We can already see some of these changes today in California, including increased temperatures, drought, extreme storms, wildfires, rising sea levels, ocean acidification, and decreased air quality.

The CalBRACE project focuses on preparing for three of the major climate impacts facing our state: increasing temperature/extreme heat, wildfire, and sea level rise (including flooding). In order to improve our understanding of the health implications of climate change, it is important to look at both short and long-range climate projections. Once we have this knowledge we can begin to incorporate climate change into a variety of public health planning and response activities. 

BRACE Framework 

CDC has developed a five-step BRACE framework that enables health departments to incorporate the best available climate projections and epidemiology analysis into a traditional preparedness planning process. This approach supports the development and implementation of a unified climate and health adaptation strategy for a jurisdiction, while allowing flexibility for local and regional conditions and needs. The steps can be addressed in a sequence that best aligns with local priorities, opportunities and resources. Key principles for the framework include adaptive management, evidence based public health practice, and engaging stakeholders.

Step 1- Identify the scope of the most likely climate impacts, the potential health outcomes associated with those climatic changes, and the populations and locations vulnerable to these  health impacts within a jurisdiction.

Step 2 - Estimate or quantify the additional burden of health outcomes due to Climate Change – to support prioritization and decision making.

Step 3 - Identify the most suitable health interventions for the health impacts of greatest concern.

Step 4 - Develop and implement a health adaptation plan (strategy) for climate change that addresses health impacts, gaps in critical public health functions/services, and a plan for enhancing adaptive capacity in the jurisdiction.

Step 5 - Evaluate the processes the project has used, determine the value of utilizing the framework and the value of climate and health activities undertaken to reduce risks to health.


Local Health Department Partnership

CalBRACE is partnering with 10 local health departments from the 10 Climate Impact Regions of California (PDF). Through this partnership, CalBRACE provides technical assistance for local climate and health capacity development efforts and co-developing resources that will support their adaptation planning processes. CDPH’s Climate and Health Team provides technical assistance, planning, and training resources to the extent possible to all local health departments in the state. CalBRACE materials, training, and information will be available to other interested parties.

Meetings, Workshops and Events  

California Climate and Health Case Stories: The Local Health Department Response

This series of case stories highlights how public health departments are responding to climate change as an emerging public health threat. Public health departments have important roles in helping California reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change. The Building Resilience Against Climate Effects (BRACE) Framework provides public health departments an evidenced based process to identify climate impacts in their communities, potential effects associated with these impacts, and their most at risk populations.

  • Introduction (PDF)Opens a new browser window.
  • Los Angeles (PDF)Opens a new browser window.
  • Mariposa (PDF)Opens a new browser window.
  • San Diego (PDF)Opens a new browser window.
  • San Luis Obispo (PDF)Opens a new browser window.
  • Santa Clara (PDF)Opens a new browser window.
  • California Climate Case Stories Portfolio PDF. 2 MB)Opens a new browser window.
  • Resources

    California Department of Public Health

  • Climate Change, the Environment, and Health - Environmental Health Investigations Branch of Environmental and Occupational Disease Control
  • Climate Change and Health Equity Program (CCHEP) 
  • Climate Action for Health: Integrating Public Health into Climate Action Planning (PDF, 2.2MB)Opens a new browser window.
  • Public Health Impacts of Climate Change in California: Community Vulnerability Assessments and Adaptation Strategies – Heat Related Illness and Mortality 
  • Preparing California for Extreme Heat: Guidance and Recommendations (PDF)Opens a new browser window.
  • California State Adaptation Planning

  • CalAdapt- Explore California’s Climate Change Research
  • CA Climate Change Portal: Public Health and Climate Change Adaptation   
  • (NEW) Safeguarding California: Reducing Climate Risk (PDF, 7.13MB)Opens a new browser window. 
  • Safeguarding California: A State's Updated Adaptation Plan- Webinar
  • California Adaptation Plan 2009- Chapter 4: Public Health (PDF, 4.23 MB)Opens a new browser window.
  • California Climate Adaptation Planning Guide
  • CalEPA Urban Heat Island Interactive Maps
  • State and Local Health Department Adaptation Planning

  • Assessing Health Vulnerability to Climate Change: A Guide for Health Departments (PDF, 4.3MB)Opens a new browser window. 
  • San Francisco Climate and Health Profile Report (PDF)Opens a new browser window. 
  • Bay Area Climate Adaptation and Resilience: Nine County-Level Snapshots (PDF)Opens a new browser window.  
  • Alliance of Regional Collaboratives for Climate Adaptation (ARCC)
  • Climate and Health

  • The Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States: A Scientific Assessment 2016 (PDF)Opens a new browser window.
  • Impacts of Climate Change on Children's Health, 2015
  • A Human Health Perspective on Climate Change (PDF, 5MB) Opens a new browser window.
  • Climate Change and Health Fact Sheets- Physicians for Social Responsibility
  • IPCC Chapter 8: Human Health (PDF)Opens a new browser window. 
  • Beyond Storms and Droughts: The Psychological Impacts of Climate Change 2014 (PDF)Opens a new browser window.
  • Climate Justice and Health Equity

  • The Climate Gap: Inequalities in How Climate Change Hurts Americans & How to Close the Gap (PDF) Opens a new browser window.
  • Minding the Climate Gap: What’s at Stake California's Climate Law isn't Done Right and Right Away (PDF, 7.3 MB)Opens a new browser window. 
  • Communicating Climate and Health

  • Climate and Health: Education and Communications
  • Conveying the Human Implications of Climate Change (PDF, 5.5MB) Opens a new browser window.
  • Climate Change & Health Focus Group Report (PDF)Opens a new browser window.
  • Mitigation Planning

  • Climate Action for Health: Integrating Public Health into Climate Action Planning (PDF, 2.2MB)Opens a new browser window. 
  • Senate Bill 375: An Opportunity to Design Healthy Sustainable Communities (PDF, 1.62MB)Opens a new browser window. 
  • Assessing the Co-Benefits of San Francisco’s Climate Action Plan (PDF, 1.4MB)Opens a new browser window.
  • Climate Science

  • Climate Change Impacts in the United States: US Climate Change 3rd Assessment (PDF, 23MB)Opens a new browser window.
  • California Climate Change Assessments (3rd, 2nd, and 1st) 
  • Climate Change: Just the Facts- Governor’s Office of Planning and Research 
  • IPCC Fifth Assessment Report 

    Return to Climate Change and Health Equity Program Page - Office of Health Equity 

    Last modified on: 4/5/2017 5:09 PM