Hampton Roads is one of the most susceptible regions in the United States to sea level rise. The nature of our business requires mindful attention and stewardship efforts to ensure the safety of our colleagues, the cargo we handle, and the communities in which we operate. In addition to accounting for sea level rise, our resiliency efforts span all types of potential disruptions- ranging from weather events to cyber-attacks to electrical power interruptions. The port has approached this challenge along several lines of effort.
The first is developing an understanding of our vulnerabilities to specific hazards. Through comprehensive assessments, modeling and analysis, we have identified critical infrastructure that may be exposed to hazards associated with flooding or extreme weather events. This knowledge allows us to invest wisely in construction, equipment acquisition and maintenance activities to ensure we’re moving forward with an eye on the future.
Active engagement in the resiliency planning efforts of our neighboring communities and port partners is a critical component of maintaining safe port operations. Port colleagues have participated in numerous efforts locally, including the Hampton Roads Sea Level Rise and Resilience Intergovernmental Planning Pilot Project, the City of Norfolk’s Flood Risk Management Study and US Department of Transportation’s development of a quantifiable tool to measure the impact of disruptions on the region’s transportation infrastructure. We are committed to a “whole of community” approach to developing solutions.
In addition to the studies, we maintain strong working relationships with regional partners through industry leading training programs like our Marine Fire Fighting School. Additionally, the port’s robust internal exercise program ensures that colleagues understand their responsibilities when normal operations are disrupted.
As a Catalyst for Commerce, we are proud of our accomplishments toward creating safer and more resilient port facilities and continue to build on those past success and efforts.
For more information on the Hampton Roads Sea Level Rise and Resilience Intergovernmental Planning Pilot Project, visit http://www.centerforsealevelrise.org/.