Health and rescue management

Health and rescue management in the context of climate change adaptation is divided into the following systemic areas:

Health
Weather and climate play a significant role in affecting people’s health. Changes in climate affect the average weather conditions, which we are accustomed to in this region. Higher temperatures increase, for example, the number of hot days and heat waves, which in turn leads to the higher incidence of heat-related illnesses and deaths. More frequent storms and high winds are associated with increased flood risk for accidents. Higher temperatures also decrease air quality, increase the exposure to ultraviolet radiation, and may rise of water-related problems. Such changes in climatic conditions can also lead more frequently to water, food, or vector-borne diseases. In addition a number of other factors also affect health effects of climate change. There are the ability and readiness of health systems to adapt to changing climate, the sensitivity of the population, the inequalities, and vulnerable populations (elderly, children, the chronically ill, etc.) and the availability of warning systems.

Rescue management
Disasters and negative consequences of climate change could be triggered as a result of more frequent extreme weather, floods, forest fires, storms, extremely cold or hot weather. Disasters can happen in places hard-to-reach. Climate change is related to the following emergency events: large-scale forest and landscape fire, flooding in densely populated areas, serious consequences of storm, health disorders of many people, physical losses by ice; the epidemic events, an extremely cold or hot weather, massive refugee immigration in the country, life threatening event in a foreign country for many Estonians. Until now, Estonia has pursued primarily mitigation and management of emergency events in relation to climate change, but in the future more attention should be given to adaptation to climate change, with the need to increase social and environmental resilience to cope with climate change. Developing and implementing early-warning systems play an important role in advancing risk management and in informing the population in a timely manner.