The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has produced this brief report to highlight how states and communities are responding to the risks they face in both the short and long-term. The report features the voices of experts from the public and private sector who participated in the November 2017 Greenbuild roundtable in Boston, entitled “Building Back Better after the Storm.” Each article aims to connect resilience needs with smarter, stronger, and greener solutions that can be implemented at the state level. The series details how states can prepare for, respond to, and learn from disasters, and how they can support greater resilience at both the state and local levels. According to FEMA, 33 states issued declarations of disaster in 2017.
The effects of climate change ensure storms will grow more frequent and intense in the decades to come. In response, many communities, like those featured in this report, have implemented resilience strategies like rapid response and recovery, long-term resilience planning, government collaboration, and financing mechanisms for resilient infrastructure. USGBC and the Center for Green Schools promoted these policies at Greenbuild 2017 during a roundtable with state lawmakers, government program administrators, and industry experts, and continue to engage in similar conversations with policymakers around the nation. By illuminating the successful actions taken by communities during disaster recovery, this report strives to encourage states around the country to take similar proactive steps to improve their communities’ sustainability and resilience.