Preparing for the Next Big Storm: Climate Resiliency for BusinessesBy Tim Cronin, Policy Associate
The effects of Hurricane Harvey are continuing to cause widespread destruction and flooding in the Houston area, with more than 30,000 people displaced and the death toll having risen to at least 29. What isn’t certain yet is how Harvey has impacted local Houston businesses. According to a report released by the American Sustainable Business Council, after Hurricane Sandy in 2012, 25-30% of all small businesses impacted by the storm went out of business. It’s likely that Hurricane Harvey’s effects will be even more catastrophic.
The key to preventing climate change-fueled storms like Sandy and Harvey from devastating the local business community in Massachusetts is supporting natural disaster resiliency for businesses. There are a number of actions CABA supports that address small business resiliency. Two of them include supporting CAMP legislation and our BARS campaign.
Comprehensive Adaptation Management Plan (CAMP) bill (S.472)
This bill establishes a 10-year comprehensive adaptation management plan (CAMP) to proactively address the consequences of climate change. CAMP ensures preparedness and reduces vulnerabilities in Massachusetts emergency response, energy, transportation, communications, health and other systems.
In July, S.472 was reported favourable out of two important legislative committees. Now the bill is before the Senate Ways and Means committee. To help push CAMP forward, reach out to your legislators, and contact Chair Senator Karen Spilka, to tell them you support CAMP.
Businesses Acting on Rising Seas (BARS)
BARS is an educational campaign created by CABA that provides information for local businesses to consider the impacts of climate change in their business growth and planning. In 2016 the 10-week campaign distributed information about climate resilience and strategies to increase climate preparedness within the business community. Each business received a Small Business Resilience Guide, featuring a flood map of their community and eight steps to increase the resiliency of their business.
CABA will be expanding BARS across Massachusetts in the future. Sign up for our newsletter to receive up-to-date information as we launch another round of BARS this year.
One of the best ways to take action to support CAMP legislation and make your business climate resilient is to join CABA. If you are not yet a member business, membership is free and you can sign up here.
If you’re already a member and want to learn more about climate change resilience or support CAMP legislation, contact CABA Programs Director Joe Carpenter.
About the author: Tim is an economics and politics student at Stonehill College. This past year he had the opportunity to study at Oxford University, exploring global governance, human rights law, and int’l economics. As a senior, Tim will serve as student-body president and continue to fight for sustainable initiatives such as fossil fuel divestment and expanding the college’s solar farm. He has interned at the State House and serves on the board of his local civic association. Tim enjoys reading The Economist, listening to podcasts, and exploring state parks in his free time.