The devastation left behind from Hurricanes Irma and Maria prompted the governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands to take action. To aid in the reconstruction of the U.S. Virgin Islands Governor Kenneth Mapp announced the formation of The VI Hurricane and Resiliency Advisory Group. The advisory committee will be headed under the leadership of Governor Kenneth Mapp. But, the group will be composed of environmental experts, local businesses, officials and members of the community.
The VI Hurricane and Resiliency Advisory Group will assess the current damage of the U.S. Virgin Islands. Along with assessing and reconstructing, the committee will assess potential risks from natural disasters for the next 30 years. Looking toward the future of the U.S. Virgin Islands the advisory group will evaluate potential threats from climate change. With rebuilding the territory’s infrastructure, buildings will be rebuilt to withstand future disasters.
The goal of the advisory group is to not only rebuild from the recent hurricanes, but increase resiliency of the U.S. Virgin Islands. With increased resiliency comes an increase in overall economic health. The committee will focus on designing and implementing new policies and guidelines for current and future natural disasters. Recognizing the increased economic growth tourism can provide, the advisory group will also focus on the tourism industry and related services.
To coordinate the extensive economic recovery plan, Governor Kenneth Mapp has chosen Clifford Graham as the chairman of the advisory group. Clifford Graham is the current present and CEO of West Indian Company, but has served two terms as senator for the U.S. Virgin Islands. Other members with legislature experience include Senator Novelle E. Frances, Jr. and the U.S. Surgeon General Jerome M. Adams. Local community members and business owners helping to rebuild the U.S. Virgin Islands include Andrew Farkas, Elizabeth Armstrong and Vivek Daswani. Elizabeth Armstrong and Vivek Daswani are prominent business owners who understand the importance of tourism to the U.S. Virgin Islands.