Safety, Preparedness & Resiliency

Safety, preparedness, and resiliency have taken on a greater significance as a result of the COVID-19 global pandemic. The pandemic has highlighted the need for coordination and collaboration among and between the public and private sectors. 

Worker and public safety are key priorities for the Virginia business community. As workplace safety initiatives are considered, it is important that businesses are involved in the discussion and their recommendations are considered to avoid unnecessary impacts to business operations or the economy.

The global COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted areas for improvement to ensure that the Commonwealth and the business community are ready for any future public health event, national security issue, natural disaster, environmental challenge, and economic risk. To ensure Virginia is prepared for these potential challenges, the Blueprint highlights the need for improvement in the resiliency of our critical systems for reliable and affordable energy, broadband access, and transportation infrastructure.

To improve Virginia’s safety, readiness for adverse and emergency situations, and resiliency in weathering them, this section seeks to provide recommendations for a business approach on these topics.

  • Recognize the need for smart regulations that ensure workplace safety and protect public health
    • Support commonsense workplace safety measures that are consistent, reasonable, and account for the views of communities and businesses
  • Support improved analysis that evaluates the impact additional regulations might have on jobs, small businesses, and economic and personal freedoms 
  • Highlight the Virginia business community’s positive track record of success in workplace safety, while supporting constructive workplace safety strategies that contribute to a day-to-day safety culture in the workplace
  • Provide thought leadership on workplace safety best practices and regulatory updates for small businesses

  • Improve communication, coordination, and cooperation between businesses, government, and nonprofits in times of disaster
  • Establish legal and operating frameworks to ensure sustained collaboration between industry and government
  • Promote the development of Virginia’s research universities as hubs of resilience where innovative research and development is focused on crisis readiness and response 
  • Ensure reliability of the electric grid and other critical infrastructure even when faced with severe weather and other emergency scenarios
  • Expand existing efforts to convert particularly outage-prone overhead power lines to underground to minimize the incidence and duration of electric service disruptions 
  • Improve business effectiveness in responding to disaster preparedness, response, and recovery in order to maintain effective operations
  • Collaborate with the federal government to build a cohesive, integrated cyber security response system to deal with emerging cyber threats
  • Utilize business expertise and innovation to improve disaster management
  • Help small businesses build the resilience they need to face any disaster
    • Support efforts like the US Chamber Foundations “Resilience in a Box” toolkit which serves as a best practices and education initiative for business leaders on disaster preparedness and business resilience

  • Invest in improved infrastructure assets, such as communications, energy, food, health, and water, which are necessary for companies and communities in order to respond effectively
    • Support policies that reduce risks for companies and communities
    • Target better coordination and integration of critical support systems
    • Support investments that utilize the latest innovations and technologies to modernize the Commonwealth’s infrastructure with resilience prioritized
    • Promote public-private partnerships that leverage the business community’s technical and practical expertise in identifying and mitigating risks in developing and implementing effective resilience solutions
  • Strengthen the domestic and international supply chain for critical materials and products, especially regarding inventory critical to national security
  • Support efforts to mitigate the growing risks of sea-level rise, especially in coastal Virginia where the impacts are particularly acute
  • Target opportunities to build a “resilience economy” that harnesses innovative solutions to new challenges in community resiliency
  • Enhance the resiliency of power delivery infrastructure through targeted improvements and adoption of new materials standards and other strategies