NEWBURYPORT – Kristin Kelleher of the Climate Action Business Association and Fire Chief Christopher LeClaire will discuss the city’s vulnerabilities and how the community can be better prepared for extreme weather and emergencies at a forum Tuesday at 7 p.m. in City Hall Auditorium, 60 Pleasant St.
In the program, titled “No Water, No Sewer, No Electricity – What Do You Do?” Kelleher will focus on the needs of business owners, who must consider not only their emergency plans, but also infrastructure redundancy and protecting inventory. As the program director for the Climate Action Business Association, Kelleher has experience speaking to small-business owners and managers facing the impact of climate change, according to a press release from Storm Surge, organizer of the event.
A recent survey conducted by the association of Newburyport businesses found that while more than 73% were negatively affected by January and February storms, only 18% had emergency plans, according to Kelleher.
She will also discuss state resiliency grants that can be used to address storm-related infrastructure, including how communities and businesses can partner to advocate for their allocation.
LeClaire, who also serves as Newburyport’s emergency management director, heads the city’s Office of Emergency Management.
The Office of Emergency Management is tasked with the development and implementation of the city’s comprehensive local emergency management plan that addresses disaster mitigation, planning and preparedness, and the response to and recovery from large-scale natural or man-made emergencies and disasters, the press release said.
LeClaire will discuss the resources the city and state have available to all residents in the event of a natural disaster, including vulnerable populations in nursing homes, the hospital, low-income housing and those living on Plum Island.