Assess the nature of the problem in your area


Identify the places in your local area where people are on low incomes using the Climate Just map tool


Identify the magnitude and likelihood of hazards associated with the changing climate, including flooding and heatwaves.

  • Consider how patterns of people on low incomes compare with patterns of potential exposure to flooding and heatwaves using exposure and disadvantage maps in the map tool. New finer resolution data are available for flood vulnerability and current and future flood disadvantage. See Which places are disadvantaged? for more information.  
  • Draw on existing risk assessments, adaptation tools such as the UKCP09 projections and its most recent successor the UKCP18 (which builds upon UKCP09 and was initiated after the 2015 Paris Agreement) and other local information (for example following the UKCIP Local Climate Impacts Profile (LCLIP) process).  See the Further Resources section for an example LCLIP for Greater Manchester.
  • Examine the impacts of extreme weather events including their location, timing, costs and the effectiveness of responses. Kent County Council developed a Severe Weather Impacts Monitoring System (SWIMS) tool to record local experiences more systematically and support continuous learning.


Review the case studies to see what others have done.


Ensure that a full range of issues are incorporated into organisational risk registers, including indicators of low ability to adapt, such as income. It is important to recognise that those on low incomes are more likely be vulnerable to climate impacts and extreme weather events in other ways too. Actions need to be wider than the provision of financial support alone. 


Help raise awareness in low income areas with targeted information and support about what needs to be done to prepare for extreme weather and actions to take during extreme weather events. Consider appropriate outreach activities and additional support for those who face income-related restrictions to their adaptive capacity.


Develop local plans that reduce the impact of heatwaves and floods for people on low incomes. Be sure to include measures which take account of what can be done before an event to minimise its impacts and also how people can be supported during recovery, particularly from flood events. The recovery and clean-up period often involves more effort than the time during the flooding itself. Certainly, recovery times are likely to be much longer than the flood duration. There will be a number of challenges to face, including:

  • inspection of and cleaning road surfaces to ensure they are safe before they are reopened.
  • advising residents on reoccupying their properties and offering advice about drying equipment and drying-out. It may be useful to develop a central resource of information to provide assistance on useful contacts, reputable contractors, and more.
  • dealing with accommodation problems.
  • supporting individual and general community recovery.


Reduce exposure by considering ways that buildings and local environments can be better adapted. People on low incomes may need to be supported financially in order to realise property and community level adaptations.


Ensure that information and actions and roles and responsibilities are clearly communicated. Poor communication and the lack of clarity on actions needed may lead to apathy from local communities.1


Emphasise actions and initiatives which provide tangible and multiple local benefits.2  These do not need to have flood or heatwave management as their only goal.


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  1. Zsamboky, M., Fernandez-Bilbao, A., Smith, D., Knight, J. & Allan, J. (2011) “Impacts of climate change on disadvantaged UK coastal communities”, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, York
  2. Zsamboky, M., Fernandez-Bilbao, A., Smith, D., Knight, J. & Allan, J. (2011) “Impacts of climate change on disadvantaged UK coastal communities”, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, York.