Jim Redick, Norfolk Director of Emergency Preparedness and Response

If your home is on fire, all you want is to put the fire out. Luckily, 911 has a plan in place to efficiently respond to the emergency. It’s this kind of successful “incident command system” already used to address public safety hazards such as fires that Jim Redick encourages localities to apply when preparing for sea level rise.

Redick, the Director of Emergency Preparedness and Response for the City of Norfolk, Virginia, came to speak to the Virginia Coastal Policy Clinic on March 17 about emergency planning in the face of sea level rise.

Organizations that contribute to emergency response need to have a unified approach with each having a particular role and system of communication. In Norfolk, representatives from the government, public, and private sectors, with trusted agencies like the Virginia Institute of Marine Science and the Army Corps of Engineers, have begun coordinating as Team Norfolk, a collective effort to address sea level rise. Preparing today by building these relationships is key.

“During the incident is not the time to exchange business cards,” says Redick.

Fall 2014 VCPC students examining flooding outside a neighborhood in Norfolk.

Fall 2014 VCPC students examining flooding outside a neighborhood in Norfolk.

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