A senior US security official has advised that the US Department of Homeland Security is extending its focus of operations to include a new focus on protecting American cities from the impact of climate change.

Caitlin Durkovich, the assistant secretary for infrastructure protection at Homeland Security, said in the wake of the 2012 Hurricane Sandy the department has a new focus on how to build resilience into the process of reconstruction after a major natural disaster.

She was speaking at the Rising Seas Summit, organized by the Association of Climate Change Officers. Caitlin Durkovich said the department is working in conjunction with the National Academy of Science to develop better tools for planning for resilience, particularly against rising sea levels.