The Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council has received two grants to help limit storms’ impacts on the environment and small business. The grants will fund planning for infrastructure that is less vulnerable to storms, and strategies for getting businesses back up and running after a hurricane.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s grant of $299,255 will support a series of workshops in late 2019 and early 2020 in the six-county region the Planning Council serves. These sessions, overseen by the Tampa Bay Regional Resiliency Coalition, will result in a comprehensive overview of known vulnerabilities and a Regional Resiliency Action Plan that can be implemented by local governments.
The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration awarded a grant of $175,000. The Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council will use these funds to develop a Category 5 hurricane simulation so governments can practice responses to area businesses that would be hit by such a storm.
The initiative will create a better understanding and communication between small businesses, emergency operations managers and public utilities. The private sector will learn of governments’ and utilities’ capabilities and limitations in days right after a storm while the public sector will know how loss of power, transportation or other hurricane impacts affect a small business.