It’s no secret that climate change is happening. Yes, the degree to which it is happening is open for debate, but few would deny that climate change is a legitimate threat. This reality has been on utilities’ radars for quite some time, and now municipalities are increasing their efforts to boost resiliency as well.
One example is Providence, RI, which recently held a 2-day workshop with key community stakeholders to discuss the risks they face, strategies they could employ to reduce these risks, and response tactics that could be developed to reduce loss of life and damage to critical infrastructure. Communities like Providence, located in close proximity to an ocean, are especially at risk due to climate change induced rising sea levels, which are projected to increase by a whopping 7 feet in the next 85 years.
Communities like Providence are developing an arsenal of resiliency strategies, including but not limited to:
- Working with various community groups to raise awareness of the impact of climate change.
- Creating mutual assistance agreements with neighboring communities and local businesses so that resources can work together to respond to emergency situations.
- Creating visualization and forecasting tools that can help stakeholders understand the true nature of the problem.
- Developing unique solutions – for example, Hoboken, NJ is partnering with BASF to develop a parking garage that doubles as a floodwater storage facility that can hold over 1 million gallons.
Municipalities all over the country are working on initiatives like these, and I for one applaud their efforts because these solutions can only help utilities restore service during emergency events. As the saying goes, it takes a village, and nowhere is this truer than during outage restoration situations.