Planning ahead: natural solutions for natural hazards (sponsored content)

Staff photo by John Rawlston/Chattanooga Times Free Press - Jul 11, 2013 Ellen Lambert, who has worked at the South Pittsburg Hammer's store for 36 years, vacuums water out of the floor Thursday as South Pittsburg residents deal with the aftermath of flash flooding that happened Wednesday night.

From severe storms and heavy rain to drought and extreme heat, communities in the Southeast experience climate impact every day. Environmental hazards seem to have become so common that many of us are desensitized to headlines in the news.

"South Pittsburg bears the brunt of storms" and "Heavy rains flood roads and neighborhoods" read stories from Local 3 News in December 2021. "Rhea ravaged by flood" shares the Rhea Review in February 2019.

In a changing natural environment, these stories have become commonplace in the media. But the repercussions of climate change are far from normal for the men and women affected as they are left to rebuild their homes and businesses. To make matters worse, environmental hazards disproportionately affect underresourced neighborhoods which are more vulnerable and find it more difficult and costly to recover.