Readiness Assessment

Technical Manual: 
Readiness Assessment

The Readiness Assessment questions outline actions local governments can take to prepare their communities for climate change impacts specific to Indiana. The Assessment does not provide every action that could be taken to prevent or alleviate climate change impacts; instead, the Assessment includes actions that have been identified as the most useful based on feasibility, relevance in the state of Indiana, the technologies available, and the ability of an action to address cascading impacts. All of the actions included have been implemented by one or more local governments in the Midwest and are considered first order responses.

The sections below describe the process used for developing the actions and questions in the Readiness Assessment. 

Readiness Questions

The readiness questions were developed by identifying the climate change impacts relevant in the state of Indiana, conducting a risk pathway assessment of the state’s climate change impacts, using the risk pathway assessment to conduct a network analysis and identify the highest order climate change impacts, conducting a literature review of adaptation and mitigation strategies to draft the list of actions and responses, and working with local government beta testers and community and academic experts to refine the action list and responses.

The Indiana Climate Change Impacts Assessment (INCCIA) was used to identify the ways in which Indiana is and will be impacted by climate change. Risk pathways were pulled from the INCCIA reports (Bowling et al., 2018; Day et al., 2018; Filippelli et al., 2018; Höök et al., 2018; Phillips et al., 2018; Raymond et al., 2018; Reynolds et al., 2018; Widhalm et al., 2018) and parsed into primary, secondary, and tertiary impacts.

Example Risk Pathway
Increased precipitation > Increased human-derived nutrients entering Indiana waterways > Increased total runoff > More algal blooms

Figure 3. Risk Pathway Analysis of the Indiana Climate Change Impacts Assessment reports that had been released by December 2018. Nodes are climate change impacts, edges connect subsequent impacts, arrows signify direction of impact, and the node color represents more highly connected impacts. Environmental Resilience Institute, 2018

Following the network analysis, higher order impacts (i.e. impacts that lead to cascading impacts, represented by the larger nodes in Figure 3) were narrowed down to those that are able to be addressed by a local government in Indiana and have a clear negative climate impact. Some climate impacts may have beneficial impacts, or both positive and negative impacts. The analysis used to develop the Hoosier Resilience Index includes only climate impacts with clearly negative impacts. To fill in the gaps, this list of impacts was supplemented and refined through a review of impacts in other documents (Indiana Department of Homeland Security, 2019; Midwest Economic Policy Institute, 2018; U.S. Global Change Research Program, 2018) and using input from academic, government agency, nonprofit, and general public focus groups.

Following the development of the list of impacts included in the Readiness Assessment, adaption and mitigation actions were identified through a review of best practice literature (Alger County Government, 2012; Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, 2018a-e; Cervenec, 2018; Change Lab Solutions, 2010; City of Chicago, 2019; City of Evanston, 2018; City of Indianapolis, 2019; Cleveland Neighborhood Progress et al., 2015; Ebi et al, 2018; Environmental Resilience Institute, 2019; Second Nature, 2018; U.S. EPA, 2014; U.S. Department of Transportation, 2018 and 2016; U.S. Department of Transportation and ICF International, 2009) and individual expertise from academics and practitioners. The questions were drafted by staff at the Environmental Resilience Institute, using the references listed in the previous sentence. Feedback on the initial set of Readiness Assessment questions was incorporated from local government employees in Indiana, and by experts in academia and the nonprofit sector.

See a full list of all Readiness Assessment questions. (coming soon)