Infrastructure—power, water and stormwater systems, roads, bridges, and buildings—are vital to a community’s operation and quality of life, as well as for each citizen’s economic, social, and physical well being. Infrastructure is also critical to a community’s ability to prepare for and respond to flooding, storm damage, and other coastal hazards. If, during an extreme coastal hazard event, a community’s facilities are flooded or otherwise disabled, recovery will be hampered and lives may be lost. For example, if roads to homes are too flooded for ambulances to traverse, what might otherwise be minor medical events could easily become fatal. Coastal communities should adopt high standards for infrastructure to make it resistant and resilient to coastal hazards—ideally by keeping it out of areas where it may be harmed. A community should also use infrastructure to guide or direct development away from coastal high-hazard zones.
Below is a menu of infrastructure protection options.