Advocacy Training Workshop

On Jan. 26, 2023, the Community Engagement Core leadership hosted a three-hour workshop to share methods and resources that community and faculty members can use when advocating for environmental health issues.
Click here to view a video recording of the session and download the slides.

Community Engaged Research (CEnR) Training Module

The CEnR training module is a product of a meaningful multidirectional community-academic partnership that arose from a coalition leader’s observation of the need for investigators to better understand the context and methods used when planning and executing research with the community. The training module presenters are community partners, citizen scientists, and CEnR investigators. The module and quiz take approximately 45 - 60 minutes.  Upon successful completion of the quiz, you will receive a congratulatory email.

Click here to register for the training module.

Climate Mapping for Resilience and Adaptation Portal

Climate Mapping for Resilience and Adaptation (CMRA) integrates information from across the federal government to help people consider their local exposure to climate-related hazards. People working in community organizations or for local, tribal, state, or federal governments can use the site to help them develop equitable climate resilience plans to protect people, property, and infrastructure. The site also points users to federal grant funds for climate resilience projects, including those available through the bipartisan infrastructure law.

U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit

The U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit is a website designed to help people find and use tools, information, and subject matter expertise to build climate resilience. The toolkit offers information from all across the U.S. federal government in one easy-to-use location.

Report: Kentuckians for the Commonwealth Deep Canvassing on the Climate Crisis

In 2021, Kentuckians for the Commonwealth and their partners in the Kentucky Just Transition Coalition knocked on thousands of doors to talk with Kentuckians living in urban, small city, and rural communities about the climate crisis.

Using an empathetic, non-judgmental approach called Deep Canvassing, we had meaningful conversations with more than 600 people. We asked how concerned they are about climate change, and invited people to share stories about ways they’ve been harmed by extreme weather, health conditions made worse by air pollution, or job losses related to our shifting economy.

Teams of canvassers knocked every door in racially diverse low- and moderate- income precincts, primarily in Bowling Green, Louisville, and Hazard, Kentucky.

View the report.

Map: Flooding in Southeastern Kentucky - August 2022

Dr. Jay Christian created a PDF detailing the areas that experienced flooding in July and August of 2022. Thirteen of the twenty-one counties in the UK-CARES target region have been designated as federal disaster areas

>>>Click here to view the map.

Wildfires: Use of Masks and Air Purification Devices



The Corsi–Rosenthal Box, also called a Corsi–Rosenthal Cube or a Comparetto Cube, is a design for a do-it-yourself air purifier that can be built comparatively inexpensively. It was designed during the COVID-19 pandemic with the goal of reducing the levels of airborne viral particles in indoor settings.

Click here to access instructions on how to build your own Corsi-Rosenthal box.

Toolkit: Disaster Preparedness for Older Adults

UK-CARES members worked with community partners to develop a toolkit to help older adults prepare for disasters. The toolkit contains several handy documents including a disaster kit checklist, tools to document medical needs and health issues, a family communication plan, and a brief video made especially for seniors. “Our Appalachian residents can experience extreme hardship during these disasters,” said Erin Haynes, DrPH, UK-CARES deputy director. “This project utilizes combined expertise and resources from across the Commonwealth to help Kentuckians who are most at need when disaster strikes.”

Infographics: Staying Safe Before and After a Natural Disaster

The UK-CARES team is gradually building a collection of useful infographics to ensure community members remain safe before and after a natural disaster:

Handout: Ways to Protect Your Immune and Respiratory Systems After a Flood

Adults and children with cancer, asthma, COPD, diabetes, AIDS, and other health conditions may be at increased risk for infection and trouble with breathing after a flood. Use this tip sheet to help keep you and your loved ones safe.

Interview: Deputy Director Dr. Erin Haynes, "Best Practices to Keep Everyone Healthy and Safe During Disaster Clean Up"

As the flood waters begin to recede, families, business owners and volunteer cleanup groups will begin to reenter the damaged buildings and start the long cleanup process. Unfortunately, many flood-related injuries and health issues, even death, can occur during the cleanup response. It is critical to remember that although the flood waters may recede, there are a number of hazards to be aware of. Dr. Greg Davis from WUKY gets health tips from Erin Haynes, Dr.P.H., chair of the Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health in the University of Kentucky College of Public Health.

>>>View article and listen to broadcast.

Video: Avoiding Infection During Flood Clean-Up

Click here to watch a brief video about how to avoid infection while you clean up after a flood.

Video: Flooding and a Weak Immune System

Click here to watch a brief video on when you should seek help after a flood if you have a weak immune system.

Tipsheet: Recommendations from on Safety During Power Outtages

Extended power outages may impact the whole community and the economy. A power outage is when the electrical power goes out unexpectedly.

A power outage may:

  • Disrupt communications, water and transportation.
  • Close retail businesses, grocery stores, gas stations, ATMs, banks and other services.
  • Cause food spoilage and water contamination.
  • Prevent use of medical devices.

View more information on

Tipsheet: CDC's "What You Need to Know When the Power Goes Out Unexpectedly"

Take Immediate Action

  • To prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, use generators, pressure washers, grills, and similar items outdoors only. Generators should be used at least 20 feet away from your home.
  • Identify and throw away food that may not be safe to eat.
  • Check with local authorities to be sure your water is safe.
  • In hot weather, stay cool and drink plenty of fluids to prevent heat-related illness.
  • In cold weather, wear layers of clothing, which help to keep in body heat.
  • Avoid downed power lines, if a power line falls on a car, you should stay inside the vehicle.

View full details on the CDC's website.

Big Sandy Area Development District

Download a PDF of the assessment to learn more about the concerns of community members in the Big Sandy ADD regarding health issues related to air, water, and emerging threats.

Cumberland Valley Area Development District

Download a PDF of the assessment to learn more about the concerns of community members in the Cumberland Valley ADD regarding health issues related to air, water, and emerging threats.

Kentucky River Area Development District

Download a PDF of the assessment to learn more about the concerns of community members in the Kentucky River ADD regarding health issues related to air, water, and emerging threats.

ASTDR Environmental Justice Index Website

Environmental justice is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people, regardless of race, color, national origin, or income, to develop, implement, and enforce environmental laws, regulations, and policies. This goal will be achieved when everyone enjoys the same degree of protection from environmental and health hazards, and equal access to the decision-making process to live, learn, and work in a healthy environment.

The Environmental Justice Index uses data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to rank the cumulative impacts of environmental injustice on health for every census tract. Census tracts are subdivisions of counties for which the Census collects statistical data. The EJI ranks each tract on 36 environmental, social, and health factors and groups them into three overarching modules and ten different domains.

>>>Visit the ASTDR website.

Comic Book: "Invisible Enemy: The Rise of Radon"

Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R01ES021502. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

Download the comic book here.

Podcast: Reducing Exposure to Disinfection Byproducts in Drinking Water

In this episode of the NIEHS PEPH Podcast, we’ll hear from Anna Goodman Hoover, PhD, a public health researcher at the University of Kentucky, and Nina McCoy, who leads the group Martin County Concerned Citizens. They are working with residents in rural eastern Kentucky who are concerned about high levels of disinfection byproducts detected in their drinking water. Hoover and McCoy discuss potential health effects of exposure to disinfection byproducts and an NIEHS-funded community-engaged project to raise local awareness of these compounds in drinking water and reduce exposure to them.

Listen to the podcast.