Author Archives: ResilientVirginia

2017 Resilient Virginia Conference Delivers on its Promise to Connect Communities, Businesses, and Educators for Resiliency Solutions

Aug. 1-2: Resilient Virginia ConferenceFor the second year, our Resilient Virginia Conference was a great success, bringing together state, local, and national leaders to share know-how and inspire further efforts toward local resiliency actions. Conference participants shared these comments:

“Amazing to see such a gathering in Virginia!”

“Well worth attending for the diverse topics, people, and interactions!”

“A truly fantastic event!”

We are pleased that Governor Terry McAuliffe kicked off the event with a statement about the importance of holding the second Resilient Virginia Conference. You can view his statement here.

You will also be able to revisit the insights provided by national and state-level experts in the Plenary Sessions, as we will be including their presentations on our website in video format. Led by Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian Moran, conference speakers addressed resiliency perspectives from the national level as well as sharing lessons learned from Louisiana and Colorado. The Lunch Plenary Panel provided insights into the economic value to both governments and corporations of adopting resiliency in policies and operations. In addition, Day Two Plenary Session speakers provided highlights of the 100 Resilient Cities Planning Process and the NIST Community Resilience Planning Guide, and the final Lunchtime Plenary Panel included state elected officials who shared their thoughts on moving Virginia forward toward a comprehensive resiliency plan.

We will also be sharing the Breakout Session presentations that included a wide range of topics, which can be reviewed on the conference website.

Secretary Moran provided his own summary of why resiliency needs to be addressed in a collaborative fashion, in forums such as the Resilient Virginia Conference, when he observed that “Resilience ultimately is our ability to keep our fundamental resources — water, air, land, and critical infrastructure — safe and usable for our communities, for generations to come.”

We thank Secretary Moran, the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, Dominion Energy, and all our Sponsors, Exhibitors, Partners, and Planning Committee Members for working to make the 2017 Resilient Virginia Conference a memorable event.

Annette Osso, Managing Director, Resilient Virginia

August 2017

Celebrate Preparedness During PrepareAthon: August 26

PreparaThon: August 26

Celebrate preparedness during PrepareAthon on August 26, 11am to 4pm, at the Science Museum of Virginia!

Celebrate preparedness during PrepareAthon, a free festival that teaches the community how to be more resilient when disaster strikes! Uncover life-saving information to protect your family during an emergency and learn more about resiliency. Local experts will discuss the impacts of climate change on human health, the environment and the Chesapeake Bay.

Enjoy resiliency-themed climate change activities in the Museum, including NOAA Science on a Sphere® demonstrations, hands-on experiments in Eco Lab and beyond. Build your own solitary bee nest, make your own water filter and check out a bicycle-powered blender that makes delicious smoothies!

Register here for a Disaster Preparedness Workshop and come away with a free Preparedness Kit, valued at $45, and meet with local experts to discuss safety preparedness. Or register here for a free Rain Barrel Workshop, limited to one per family, and learn about water conservation and how stormwater impacts our waterways.

Science Museum of VirginiaPrepareAthon is hosted by Science Museum of Virginia under award # NA15SEC0080009 from the Environmental Literacy Grant (ELG) program of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), US Department of Commerce. Statements, findings, conclusions, and recommendations are those of the Museum and do not necessarily reflect views of NOAA or US Department of Commerce.

When: Saturday, August 26 from 11 am to 4 pm
Where: Science Museum of Virginia
2500 West Broad Street
Richmond, VA 23220-2057

Visit: http://www.smv.org/upcoming-events/prepareathon

Resilient Virginia Provides Local Governments Guide to Resiliency Planning

In collaboration with GoGreen Virginia, a Virginia Municipal League and Virginia Association of Counties program, Resilient Virginia is offering a guide to resiliency planning — the Resiliency Checklist. Formulated to add credits to the annual Green Government Challenge, the guide can also be utilized separately by local governments wanted a starting point to tackle comprehensive mitigation and adaptation approaches to disasters, climate extremes, and other risks faced by communities.

Resilient Virginia plans to work with Planning District Commissions to develop workshops around this guide to assist local governments in gaining the competency to move forward in resiliency planning. You can review an brief presentation on the Resiliency Checklist from the Resilient Virginia Conference here and the entire document here.

Resiliency Checklist
Click to view the Resiliency Checklist presentation

Costs of Doing Nothing: Economic Consequences of Not Adapting to Sea Level Rise in the Hampton Roads Region

Costs of Doing NothingRecent studies have pointed out the economic costs of rising temperatures, increased sea levels, and extreme weather events — all factors associated with climate change impact in the Southeast United States.

Costs of Doing Nothing: Economic Consequences of Not Adapting to Sea Level Rise in the Hampton Roads Region, a 2016 report from Virginia Coastal Policy Center, College of William & Mary Law School, narrows down the data to the Hampton Roads area. This report looks at several scenarios for sea level rise and the economic consequences.

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2017 Resilient Virginia Conference

Thanks for Coming!

The 2017 Resilient Virginia Conference

Connecting Communities, Business, and Educators for Resiliency Solutions

August 1–2, 2017  |  Richmond, Virginia

PARTNERS     AGENDA & SPEAKERS     SPONSORS/EXHIBITORS     CONTACT

THANKS FOR ATTENDING!
CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS COMING SOON!

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Updates from Resilient Virginia: February 2017

Resilient Virginia


WHAT’S NEW

SAVE THE DATE: 2017 Resilient Virginia Conference

The Second Resilient Virginia Conference, being planned with the support of the Virginia Office of Public Safety and Homeland Security, will take place on August 1–2, 2017 in Richmond, Virginia. You can find information on Sponsor Opportunities here. Are you interested in participating in the Planning Committee to help develop topics and speakers? Let Annette Osso, Managing Director, Resilient Virginia, know by contacting her at osso@resilientvirginia.org.

Some Updates for Early 2017

World’s Temperature — Reports from NOAA and the United Kingdom national meteorological office show temperatures were record-breaking again in 2016, for the third year in a row. Factors influencing this years’ rise in temperature were the El Nino weather phenomenon and the unusual warmth in the Arctic, where sea-ice reached its second lowest level in September 2016. However, the reports attribute the majority of the warming to human emissions of carbon dioxide.

Global Temperatures

Source: BBC News, January 18, 2017. Link to the complete article here. Also see NOAA/NASA Annual Global Analysis here.

 

Extreme Weather Costs — Another NOAA report shows that 2016 had the second highest annual number of U.S. billion-dollar disasters, behind the 16 events that occurred in 2011. The report cites 2016 as an unusual year, since it included15 weather and climate events with losses exceeding $1 billion each across the United States. These events included drought, wildfire, four inland flood events, eight severe storm events, and a tropical cyclone event. Cumulatively, these 15 events led to 138 fatalities and caused $46.0 billion in total, direct costs. Read the full article here.

US Climate Disaster Map

 

U.S. solar jobs grew by 20 percent in 2016.Renewable Energy Sector Job Growth — A new report from The Solar Foundation shows that job growth in the solar industry reached 2% of the new job creations in the U.S. in 2016. According to the report, 1 in 50 new jobs were created in the areas of manufacture, sales, and installation of solar systems. This makes 2016 the fourth consecutive year that U.S. solar jobs grew by 20 percent or more, and the industry now employs more workers than the natural gas industry; more than double the number of workers in the coal industry; and in comparison to other energy sectors, employment in solar trails only the U.S. oil industry. Find additional information here.

 

George Mason University’s Center for Climate Change Communication Support for Climate Action — George Mason University’s Center for Climate Change Communication and the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication have issued their latest survey, which was conducted after the 2016 presidential election. The results show:

  • The proportion of Americans who think global warming is happening remained steady at 70% in 2016 — nearly matching the highest level measured since November 2008 (71%).
  • Americans are now also more certain it is happening — the proportion who are “extremely” or “very” sure global warming is happening (45%) is at its highest level since 2008.
  • The number of Americans who are “very worried” about global warming has reached a record high (19%) since the Cener’s surveys began in 2008.
  • Likewise, Americans increasingly view global warming as a threat that will bring harm to them, their families, the country, and globally.

You can read the complete survey results here.

 

New Resilient Virginia Supporter Highlighted

We are pleased to highlight our newest Community Leader Level Annual Sponsor, Facility Engineering Associates. In addition to becoming an annual supporter, FEA has also committed to support the 2017 Resilient Virginia Conference.

Walking The Talk: Business Resilience Planning at Facility Engineering Associates

by Maureen Roskoski, CFM, SFP, LEED AP O+M,
Senior Professional, Corporate Sustainability Officer
Facility Engineering Associates

Business Resilience is the ability to rapidly adapt and respond to business disruptions while maintaining continuous business operations. Business resilience planning provides guidance for ensuring the ability to respond, resume, and restore to a pre-determined level of operation following a disruption. At FEA, we help our clients strive for resilience through comprehensive planning that takes a holistic and long-term view of the threats and their individual enterprise in order to ensure that the business is prepared to avoid, mitigate, and recover from adverse events. But, what were we doing ourselves? Were we walking the talk?

The mission of FEA is to provide facility managers and owners with progressive and innovative solutions to engineering and facility lifecycle challenges. Thus, it is critical that FEA maintain a robust business resilience program to ensure the stability of operations and services for our partners, our community, and our clients around the world. To make sure that we had an effective program, we decided to pursue certification under the ISO 22301 Business Continuity Management Systems standard. Our journey started in 2015 with a commitment from the FEA Board of Directors to allocate time and resources to our ISO certification. Our certification planning process was comprised of the five steps shown in Figure 1.

FEA ISO Certification Steps

Figure 1: FEA ISO Certification Steps

Like many organizations, FEA had some documentation related to what to do in the event of an emergency. We had evacuation procedures and were confident we could get everyone out of the building if needed. But what happens as everyone is standing in the parking lot and we are told we can’t get back in to the building for a significant period of time? We needed a plan. We used the ISO standard to build it. It provides a good framework for developing not only a business continuity plan, but a full management system, framed around the Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle (See Figure 2).

ISO 22301 Business Continuity Management Framework

Figure 2: ISO 22301 Business Continuity Management Framework

Read the entire article at resilientvirginia.org.

To learn more about FEA and Business Resilience, click here.

 

Energy Security and Microgrids

Due to the increased risks of disruption to our energy supply from terrorist attacks, mechanical failure, and extreme weather events, microgrid installations are gaining increased utilization as businesses and communities seek energy reliability strategies. As defined by the Department of Energy (DOE), a microgrid is a localized grouping of electricity sources and loads that normally operate connected to and synchronous with the traditional centralized grid (macrogrid), but can disconnect and function autonomously as physical and/or economic conditions dictate. Microgrids offer energy surety for critical loads, reduced vulnerability against cyber and physical threats, and greater resiliency, since businesses and critical services can rebound more swiftly after energy disruption.

The U.S. DOE, along with several states and the private sector, are working to develop and implement microgrid strategies. For example, New York has established the NY PRIZE Program, a first-in-the-nation competition to help communities create microgrids — stand-alone energy systems that can operate independently in the event of a power outage.

Community Microgrid System

Source: Microgrid Institute

 

Jim Pieribon, Southeast Energy News, set out to determine if any of these systems have been introduced in Virginia. He found that several organizations have already seen the security and economic benefits of installing microgrids, despite some difficulty in negotiating their interconnection with the existing grid.

The first system in Virginia was up and running in 2015 and is located at the HP Hood dairy plant, one of the largest dairy operations in the country. They see the 15 megawatt natural gas-fired system as their assurance that the dairy operations will continue reliably and prevent costly downtime in spite of possible malfunctions in the conventional system due to weather or mechanical failure.

Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg and the U.S. Defense Logistics Agency at the Fort Belvoir Army base in Northern Virginia are the next two facilities working on plans for microgrid systems. Concerns for cybersecurity and the need for resiliency planning are driving the Ft. Belvoir installation, which will total 4 megawatts of power generation and will incorporate energy storage. The Eastern Mennonite University system will consist of three 500-kilowatt natural-gas fired generators. The campus will be able to operate independent of the local grid, since it also has an existing 104-kW solar system. Motivators for this endeavor include the college’s core values that include “care for creation” and the prospect of a lower monthly demand charge rate from the utility company.

You can read the entire Southeast Energy News article here. Subscribe to Southeast Energy News to receive daily updates on energy sector policy and projects in Virginia and our neighbor states.

Find out more about microgrids at:

https://www.energy.gov/articles/how-microgrids-work

https://www.nyserda.ny.gov/All-Programs/Programs/NY-Prize

http://www.microgridinstitute.org/

 

Thanks to Our 2016 and 2017 Annual Sponsors

 

Platinum Sponsor
Marion Construction

Community Leader Sponsor
Facility Engineering Associates

Lifeboat Sponsors
Dewberry
Hazen and Sawyer

Villager Sponsors
Get Ready!
Leaders in Energy

RESILIENT VIRGINIA CALENDAR

Highlights for February 2017 and Beyond!

 

Coming up this month

  • Antioch University Webinar on “Incorporating Climate Solutions into Municipal Planning”
  • GreenBiz 17 — Live streaming opportunities!
  • Climate Disclosure Project’s Webinars on its reporting platform for cities
  • Bio-nutrient Food Production Workshop in Richmond
  • Energy and Sustainability Extravaganza at George Washington University

Coming up soon

  • March Climate Connections Speaker Series at the Science Museum of Virginia
  • April 22nd — Arlington County Home Show featuring resiliency vendors and events.

In addition to these events, check our Resilient Events Calendar on a regular basis to find out what is happening in Virginia, around the nation, and virtually through webinars.

We Love your Support!

Let us count the ways your support helps Resilient Virginia carry out its mission to
Inform  ♥  Educate  ♥  Activate
Virginia communities to build resiliency for changing times.

JOIN TODAY—IT’S OUR FUTURE!

Climate Change in the American Mind: November 2016

Climate Change in the American Mind: November 2016Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication

In the wake of a contentious U.S. election and despite the election of a president who has publicly described global warming as a hoax, Americans are increasingly sure global warming is happening, according to this national survey conducted after the presidential election (November–December 2016). The report includes many other interesting results, including measures of public feelings of anger, fear, and hope about global warming and the frames by which Americans conceptualize the issue (e.g., as an environmental, scientific, political, moral, or religious issue).

View the report here.

Walking The Talk: Business Resilience Planning at Facility Engineering Associates

by Maureen Roskoski, CFM, SFP, LEED AP O+M,
Senior Professional, Corporate Sustainability Officer
Facility Engineering Associates

Business Resilience is the ability to rapidly adapt and respond to business disruptions while maintaining continuous business operations. Business resilience planning provides guidance for ensuring the ability to respond, resume, and restore to a pre-determined level of operation following a disruption. At FEA, we help our clients strive for resilience through comprehensive planning that takes a holistic and long-term view of the threats and their individual enterprise in order to ensure that the business is prepared to avoid, mitigate, and recover from adverse events. But, what were we doing ourselves? Were we walking the talk?

Read more

Opportunities to Enhance the Nation’s Resilience to Climate Change

Resilience Opportunities ReportThe White House Council on Environmental Quality sponsored a November webinar reviewing the Resilience Opportunities Report, Opportunities to Enhance the Nation’s Resilience to Climate Change, from the Council on Climate Preparedness and Resilience. This report discusses the steps that the Obama administration has taken to address resiliency building initiatives and outlines key opportunities for advancing climate resilience moving forward.

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