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Wildfire Resilience: The Facility Manager’s Role

Experts discuss strategies facility managers can use to develop a resilience plan, harden properties, and help return their organizations to operation quickly after wildfires

The threat of wildfires has exploded across the United States in recent years due to reduced precipitation in some regions, higher temperatures caused by climate change, and increased development along wildland-urban interfaces. In the face of this growing threat to institutional and commercial facilities and surrounding communities, the need for resilience has never been greater, and facility managers are critical members of the in-house teams seeking to improve the resilience of facilities and organizations.

In this series of video interviews, senior editor Dan Hounsell talks with key players in this effort about the threat wildfires pose to facilities. We'll discuss wildfire threats facing facilities, and we’ll explore the steps managers can take to help their facilities prevent, respond to, and recover from wildfires. In the series:

Part 1: Wildfires and Facilities: Strategies for Ensuring Resilience

Part 2: Hardening Facilities Against Wildfires

Part 3: Understanding the Role of FMs in Wildfire Resilience

Here’s a preview:

In the case of fire wildfires, it's important that you prepare your facility and harden your facility.

One of the roles of the facility manager is to become familiar with various solutions to ensure that just prior to an incident, whether it actually reaches you or not, that you've hardened your facility and you're able to have a quick recovery and bring back operations to normalcy. It's really incumbent upon us to understand what those particular solutions are, whether you harden the facility (or) you put temporary measures to prepare your facility if a fire is going through your particular location. That’s a reactive mode.

On the other hand, many facility managers are involved with development of new locations and if you do happen to have a facility that you need to build that's in a high-risk location, you want to make sure that you incorporate the whole life cycle of facility management and resilient solutions during the design build and maintenance and emergency preparedness process.”

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