EPL, EFD to host extreme weather preparedness seminars, aim to raise awareness of climate change impacts


Daily file photo by Emma Edmund

The Evanston lakefront. Evanston Public Library and Evanston Fire Department will co-host a series of extreme weather preparedness seminars, as the threat of climate change may bring more severe storms and temperatures to the city.

Lily Carey, Assistant City Editor

Evanston Public Library and Evanston Fire Department will co-host a series of extreme weather preparedness seminars throughout the remainder of the year. The partnership was created in an effort to educate residents on what to do in the case of climate-induced weather crises, the city said Thursday.

The first of these events, which will be held April 21 at 6:30 p.m. at EPL’s Main Library, will focus on how to prepare for severe spring weather, like floods and tornadoes, and fallout from severe weather, like power outages. Seminars on summer, fall and winter hazards, such as extreme temperatures and more severe snowstorms, will be held May 12, Aug. 18, and Oct. 13, respectively. 

Registration is free for all attendees and EPL will also offer free emergency preparedness materials at its Main Library while supplies last. Presenters include EFD Division Chief Kimberly Kull, Sustainability and Resilience Coordinator Cara Pratt and American Red Cross Duty Officer Brian Nestler.

The preparedness seminars are sponsored by Evanston’s Climate Action and Resilience Plan, which calls for widespread shifts to municipal government operations for the city to reach carbon neutrality by 2050, provide renewable energy to all properties by 2030 and implement environmentally-friendly infrastructure.

As a city that sits directly on the shores of Lake Michigan, Evanston is vulnerable to increasingly intense storms, drought-like conditions, threats to water quality and hotter temperatures, according to the 2018 CARP report. 

The plan aims to center climate preparedness for communities that may be especially vulnerable to climate change.

Though some residents have expressed concern about the city’s lack of specific action to reach CARP goals, the extreme weather seminar organizers said in Thursday’s release they hope to “raise awareness” and “improve community resilience” through the event series.

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Twitter: @lilylcarey

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