Department of Health's Role in Climate Change

Climate change is a global environmental and public health threat. In Washington, our economy and quality of life are very connected to our natural resources, increasing the consequences of climate-change impacts.

  • Climate change is one of Governor Jay Inslee's top priorities.
  • Our Secretary of Health declared climate change a high priority for the Department of Health.

We're taking action designed to lessen the impacts on public health and to help our state be better prepared for the changes we expect to happen.

Our Agency Responding to a Climate-related Change Topic

Wildfire events that affected health

Preparing for Emergencies

Our Office of Emergency Preparedness and Response added climate change to its mandate to make sure our state is better able to respond to any threat to the public's health. This office works to build and sustain the public health and medical emergency preparedness system and capabilities throughout Washington.

Their team focuses on "all-hazards" planning and capacity development, preparing for the types of situations expected from climate change, including natural disasters, major emergencies, and extreme weather events. Similar planning can be done by individuals, communities and families.

Preparing for emergencies: a home guide