With each passing year, the number and severity of extreme weather events and natural disasters are steadily rising. These ominous observations are a stark warning for state and local government leaders.
It is only a matter of time before the next severe weather event strikes. And the price of being unprepared is rising. In the last five years, extreme weather has cost the United States nearly $750 billion. For many cities, the systems and processes put in place decades ago to mitigate and manage disaster impacts are no longer enough. Although the timing and impacts can be unpredictable, there are new measures cities of all sizes can put in place to build a more proactive and resilient community.
Preparing your community for natural disasters
Going from reactive to proactive requires a city to first gain a comprehensive view of how power, water and emergency services interact and how these relationships impact risks and opportunities. This process of building an energy master plan will also align capital asset planning to prioritize necessary infrastructure upgrades in a way that leverages all available funding, including rebate and stimulus programs. Infrastructure improvements can work across the municipal facility and systems portfolio to boost:
Resiliency: Every community needs a plan for when the power goes out. Or better yet, a plan to keep the power on at critical facilities like the 911 call center, fire and police stations and emergency centers. Creating redundancies in the power grid will make infrastructure more stable and reliable. Diversifying energy sources with solar PV, combined heat and power and microgrids protects against power disruptions.