O’Malley Wants to Evaluate City’s Emergency Preparedness for Extreme Weather

This hurricane season has walloped Texas, Florida and more this year. Luckily, Boston has escaped unscathed so far. But what if we are struck by a storm like Hurricane Harvey? Jamaica Plain’s City Councilor Matt O’Malley wants to make sure the city sip prepared and has called for a hearing to evaluate the city’s readiness for extreme weather situations.

Richard Heath

City Councilor Matt O’Malley

“We must act now,” said O’Malley via press release, who serves as the chair of the City Council’s Committee on Environment & Sustainability. “Natural disasters, such as Hurricanes Irma, Harvey, Sandy, and Katrina are increasingly more common as a direct result of global climate change.”

O’Malley introduced the order for a hearing during the Boston City Council meeting on Sept. 13th, “…to evaluate the city of Boston’s responsiveness to extreme weather events.” The order intends to address the current local emergency evacuation plan and physical infrastructure in case of a natural weather disaster.

The councilor noted that Boston’s is particularly susceptible to extreme weather events due to being a coastal city. It’s also already known that sea levels are expected to rise, according to the city’s Climate Ready Boston initiative. The initiative said that by 2030, another sea levels may rise up to eight inches, and by 2050, sea levels may rise as much as 1.5 feet higher than in 2000.

The order was assigned to the Environment & Sustainability Committee for a future hearing.