Three Day Resiliency Exercise Simulates 2050 Nor’easter

BSC Group has been part of Arup’s team working with the City of Somerville and the Resilient Mystic Collaborative to prepare a regional vulnerability assessment looking at infrastructure and community resilience within the Lower Mystic Watershed area. Last week this involved a three-day virtual infrastructure resiliency tabletop exercise. BSC’s team helped to facilitate the seven-hour program, centered around a fully-virtual tabletop exercise modeled on a 2050 1% probability nor’easter. Participants worked to identify infrastructure failures, interdependencies, and recovery times. They also discussed challenges to the emergency workforce and general population as a result of the infrastructure failures.

The exercise is aimed to help municipal and critical infrastructure partners in the study area prepare for extreme weather events. Key agencies participating included Boston Water and Sewer Commission, Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, Eversource, National Grid, MBTA, MassDOT, Massport, the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, Mass General Brigham Health System, Global Companies, Gulf Oil, Exelon Generation, and Energy Transfer. Adding some fun and realism to the program, WBZ meteorologist Eric Fisher recorded fictitious weather forecasts for each part of the simulated scenario.

The project was completed in coordination with Arup, Department of Homeland Security, Mystic River Watershed Association, and Woods Hole Group. Ultimately, the Resilient Mystic Collaborative hopes to turn lessons learned from this exercise into a list of regional infrastructure improvements that will mitigate future storm impacts. They will look for funding from sources like the FEMA BRIC program to carry out these projects.