The bipartisan infrastructure law (BIL) authorized billions of dollars to enhance community resilience against natural disasters and other hazards, but these funds are dispersed across multiple federal agencies and programs. The Natural Hazards Consortium is a group of electric cooperatives that are committed to expanding grid resilience to common natural hazards like wildfires, flooding, extreme cold, hurricanes, earthquakes and more. The consortium partners with federal agencies, state and local governments, nonprofits and industry to identify funding opportunities and develop repeatable approaches to conducting all-hazards risk assessments for rural electric cooperatives and their members. The consortium also serves as a forum for co-ops to share lessons learned, identify opportunities for collaboration, network and learn from all-hazards experts.
Increase in Extreme Weather Events
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the United States experienced more than $20 billion in weather disasters during 2021. NOAA predicts that 2022 will be the seventh straight year for above average hurricane activity, with as many as 20 named storms possibly on the horizon. As the threat of natural hazards increases, electric co-ops work together to stay ahead of the next storm.
The Consortium Seeks to Implement Solutions That:
- Enable information sharing and collaboration to address common problems across all-hazards planning, risk assessment and damage mitigation projects.
- Utilize BIL funding opportunities for all-hazards risk assessment and damage mitigation.
- Leverage partnerships with co-ops and other community organizations to identify opportunities for regional collaboration and funding.
- Create education programs to develop workforce solutions for all-hazards planning.
- Highlight unique approaches to grid resiliency that can be utilized by electric co-ops.
For co-ops interested in joining this consortium, please visit the cooperative.com infrastructure consortia section (login-required).
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- As Wildfires Rage in New Mexico, Co-ops Grapple With Damage
- Colorado Co-op Helps Disaster-Prone Mountain Community Build a Microgrid
- Along Those Lines: Storm Recovery—Working With FEMA to Rebuild Stronger After a Disaster
- NRECA to FEMA: Fix Policies That Harm Co-op Communities Hit by Disaster
Header Photo Courtesy of Nancy Plagge