So, I spent quite a while with this reporter at a time when I had other products to be working on. None of it got into this article. So I'm going to drop it here. First, the 2012 SLR bill had NO IMPACT on hazard mitigation preparedness in the state of NC. Buckle up, y'all (1/?)
First, here’s final format of the SLR bill that became law. I gave this to reporter. § 113A-107.1.c…
Here’s where things get odd. Spent my summer evenings off from SG developing a new course for Georgetown EDM on nexus of climate adaptation & emergency & disaster mgmt. There's little to go on. So hard to believe of an extension specialist but I'M LITERALLY AN EXPERT IN THIS.
In NC, hazard mitigation plans are county level or regionalized. Approved by state. Go out 10 years, updated every 5.
Climate adaptation here, as is nationally, is dealing with short term (where are homes now) all the way out to wastewater treatment plants and roads that are supposed to last 75 years or more.
Hazard mitigation planning, infrastructure planning, long range land use planning – these are all separate processes. Sometimes under comprehensive planning umbrella but really requiring more detail. For climate adaptation to happen silos must get leaky.
I trained physical science. Earned BS in physics and a MS in meteorology. Then PhD geography to learn how people use info. Scale in space important, but also, time.
Right now there is a mismatch in what EM is doing this moment, before #Florence – command and control, this week, next month, maybe next year – and climate adaptation, 10 yrs+.
So where do EM and climate intersect? RN these are separate planning processes. Politically. Logistically. In towns. Once more for folks in the back, NOT JUST IN NC. Few places integrate climate adaptation into haz mit planning well. Baltimore. Waveland, MS. New York City.
The 2012 NC SLR bill didn’t inhibit this. It’s a whole other political story culminating in a 2015 science report that includes IPCC scenarios but only goes out 30 years. And it only addreses SLR. Our big NC impact from #Florence is about to be rain, y’all. A lot of it.
NC towns know 30 years is not enough because infrastructure lasts longer than that. Town of Nags Head, Swansboro… NOT PROHIBITED FROM PLANNING FOR SLR AND THEY ARE BEGINNING TO DO SO. Would it help if state was more involved? Yes. But haz mit planning is local and COMPLICATED.
The bigger issue here is how do EM and climate adaptation intersect? Because the safest swift water rescue is the one you never need to do, because the long range planner made sure there wasn’t a subdivision there. And yet… it is not so simple as telling people to leave.
Why? Partially law and policy. And I’m not talking NC SLR bill – everything from local level development codes to Constitutional amendments that have bearing on what's a taking of private property. Patchwork place to place & frankly NONE of it was covered in my MS in meteorology.
The SLR bill did not prevent places like Hyde County or Hatteras Island from doing the same things they’d do for #SLR. As funding become available, they elevate. They improve resilience. But they consider how to keep their communities together because that’s also important.
After each storm some don't come back. Others cannot afford to leave. You have to have money to start over in G'ville or Raleigh. A lot. If you're on fixed income and no one is buying your prop, where does $ come from? A LOT harder than pure physical scientists understand.
And some places get credit for doing things. Don’t get me wrong, Charleston’s pumps (though not done for SLR) are a start, and the plan to raise the Battery is impressive. They are starting. But just getting rolling.
But Charleston is also intensely allowing development elsewhere on peninsula and on barrier islands on vulnerable hoping developers will also build flood control measures into properties. See this in Miami too. Because adaptation is $$$$$$$ y'all.
So this is not an NC problem. It is not even just a US problem. As sea level rises, this is a global problem. And it does not have one thing to do with NC House Bill 819 in 2012 or its impact on emergency management today, right now. Which is what reporter asked.
I don’t expect anyone to listen to this. But also check thread this am by @ludkmr who broke the whole NC SLR bill story in the first place, if you don’t want to listen to an extension specialist who literally studies this stuff AND helps people use it to make decisions.
Now, back to getting ready for #Florence. It’s about to get real in Wilmington. (/end)

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