The adaptation strategies below offer possible ways to address anticipated climate risks to communications infrastructure.
Adaptation strategies for communications infrastructure
- Have communication systems in place that can operate during a power or service outage, such as a radio, and ensure they are fully operational before an event takes place (i.e., radios are charged).
- Work with service providers to have multiple communication lines available to reduce the impact if one goes down and to prevent overburdening the system with high volumes.
- Develop and distribute a local, state, and federal contacts list to keep necessary services up and running before, during, and after a disaster.
- Update the list annually, at minimum.
- Create performance goals collaboratively to identify gaps in resilience and create mitigation and recovery solutions with a full understanding of the system.
- Work through zoning policies to place communication infrastructure in areas that are less susceptible to climate impacts and to create redundancy in the system.
- Work with utilities, service providers, industries that depend on communication networks, local businesses, and others to determine who controls each part of the network and what they can do to protect it.
- Adopt post-event recovery policies and procedures to repair communications services.
- Conduct an in-depth analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the communication network.
- Ensure backup communication systems, such as radios, used by first responders are compatible across departments and agencies.
- Ensure communications are appropriate for reaching diverse and vulnerable households, including residents for whom English is not their first language.
- Routinely test the policies and procedures and update them as needed.
- Collaborate with partners to determine who owns each piece of infrastructure and who is responsible for upgrades.
- Develop a routine inspection program that reviews maintenance and security for all physical communications components, including shelters, buildings, towers, and the backup power system.
- Restore, retrofit, and improve communications infrastructure components to avoid failing.
- Work with local energy utilities to address concerns about the energy system that can result in loss of communications services.
- Work with transportation departments to ensure system functionality to dispatch repair crews, maintain traffic signals, and communicate with passenger traffic.
- Work with waste and wastewater facilities to create backup communication systems to operate their utilities.
These strategies are adapted from existing federal and other resources. For more information about the strategies on this page, review the context provided by the primary source documents:
The adaptation strategies provided are intended to inform and assist communities in identifying potential alternatives. They are illustrative and are presented to help communities consider possible ways to address current and future climate threats. Read the full disclaimer.