Over the last century, droughts have caused more deaths internationally than any other weather- or climate-related disaster**. Droughts in the United States, however, are generally not thought of as public health threats. This meeting brought together local, state, federal, Tribal, non-profit, and academic participants for a discussion around the linkages between droughts and human health. The goal was to discuss ways to properly prepare our public health agencies and organizations for the health hazards associated with drought, which, in turn, can reduce negative outcomes and save lives.
Summit topics included sharing the current state of knowledge of research and preparedness activities, identifying gaps and needs, and exploring the development of a drought-public health community of practice. This meeting also helped better identify the role that NOAA’s National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) and its partners and stakeholders, along with other agencies, have in supporting and preparing the public health community for drought.
Thank you to our Summit Planning Partners:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute
NOAA National Integrated Heat Health Information System (NIHHIS)
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)
UNL National Drought Mitigation Center (NDMC)
Summit materials - including agenda and presentations - can be found here and the Summit was featured in a drought.gov news story.
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**CRED. Centre for research on the epidemiology of disasters: the inter-national disaster database—EM-DAT. 2015. http://www.emdat.be/