BEING prepared for the worst might sound like a pessimistic outlook but if communities are going to weather the extremes of climate change it is essential, says Rupert Lloyd climate change adaptation officer for the Dorset County Council.
So Mr Lloyd, who works under the Communities Living Sustainably in Dorset banner, is organising a climate change and severe weather workshop with Bridport Town Council about preparing to meet worst case scenarios.
The workshop at Bridport Town Hall on Wednesday, July 30 will ask for views and discuss ways the community can deal with extremes of rain, drought and temperature.
Mr Lloyd said: “Our weather changes day-to-day and from year-to-year, but the future could hold a greater risk of more severe weather.
“We have worked with the Met Office in Exeter to get their input into what Dorset, and in particular West Bay and Bridport, might look like in 2033. A lot of the messages we have got about how our climate might behave in future is that some of the types of severe weather that we have experienced over the last three or four years – like storms, and very heavy rainfall and flooding but equally heat waves and droughts – might happen more frequently and perhaps be more intense.”
The aim of the workshop is to come up with a ‘resilience plan’ and to understand better what the risks are to the vulnerable in the community, the infrastructure and the economy.
Mr Lloyd said it was important to hear the views of locals.
He said: “We will have experts there from the Environment Agency and some of the local emergency planners but everywhere is different and people who live in a community are very often the people who are best placed to understand how some of these things, like very heavy rainfall, effects their community and equally be able to come up with some of the simple things we can do to deal with it.
“It isn’t necessarily about everyone needing to be an expert. We hope to tap into that local knowledge.”
He added: “It is about what things can we do our ourselves in the community, but equally what help might we need from others outside the community or indeed from government.”
The workshop is on from 5.30pm and will close no later than 8.45pm with a light buffet.
Attendance is by registration only.
For more information about the subject and the workshop contact Mr Lloyd on r.t.lloyd@ dorsetcc.gov.uk