I urge you to keep our Floridian friends and family, including Southface Sarasota staff, in your thoughts as they face the devastating onslaught of Hurricane Ian. We wish everyone in Florida safety and strength and offer our support in the aftermath of the storm. The destruction that so many people are experiencing because of this hurricane is another painful reminder of how urgently we need infrastructure and buildings that are resilient to extreme weather—and bold climate action to reduce the threat to our communities.

Building and renovating homes, businesses, and civic spaces for resiliency to wind, stormwater, and power outages is especially critical for coastal communities that regularly contend with natural disasters. Sustainability helps safeguard lives and livelihoods, and that impact is what drives everyone at Southface Institute to do more every day.

It is also important to understand how the actions we take now to reduce emissions from our buildings, infrastructure, and transportation can change the forecast for Florida (and the rest of the world) decades down the line. Record-breaking water temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico majorly fueled Hurricane Ian’s rapid intensification, and greenhouse gasses in our atmosphere majorly fuel that warming. We can’t prevent hurricanes entirely, but we know from the models put forth by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports over the past year that drastic reductions in emissions can mean significantly fewer and less severe natural disasters by the end of the century.

Let’s do what we can to help Florida get through this and build toward a more resilient future together. There is too much at stake for anything less.

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