Climate change is affecting the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, causing an unequivocal impact on human health. As extreme weather events cannot be defined within national boundaries, a cross national collaboration at the European level was introduced in order to harmonise strategies and policies.
Public Health Adaptation Strategies to Extreme Weather Events (PHASE) is a 3-year project (2011-2014), funded by the Executive Agency for Health and Consumers (CHAFEA) within the European Commission Health Programme (2008-2013). The project encompasses 8 European countries (Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Spain, Sweden, and United Kingdom) and is coordinated by the Department of Epidemiology, Lazio Regional Service (Italy).
The aim of this project is to contribute to the reduction of the current and future health impacts of extreme weather events (EWE) (heat waves, cold spells, flooding), especially within vulnerable subgroups and their environmental consequences (wildfires, air pollution). The project will provide a framework of tools designed to improve preparedness for and response to extreme weather events and increase awareness of the health risks associated with them. The PHASE project is innovative as it focuses on the development of new research methodologies to fill gaps in knowledge – e.g. Geographic Information System (GIS) to identify risk areas and the use of satellite data to estimate population exposure.