Thursday, February 2, 2017

2017. Something for everyone. Let's get our communities prepared. COMMUNITY PLANNING & CAPACITY BUILDING

Our mission within BEMA International is prmote the utilization existing plans, education & training, and other opportunities for unique communities and cultures, then proceed to create more innovative plans in planning, preparedness, response, long-term recovery, and resiliency building for communities.  For all residents in a community are unique and require the 'whole community' participation in addressing issues in it's community uniqueness.

How unique is your community?  Get involved.  Get at the table.

If not, keep in mind history has a way of repeating itself in a different form, and memories of the effects of Hurricane Katrina and the effects of the levies on New Orleans should be an base for everyone to get involve proactive rather then reactive, or not at all.

CDS  CEO BEMA International.

Title: Small City graphic - Description: Small City graphic


BULLETIN - February, 2016

In this Edition:

·        Disaster Operations Update
·        CPCB Regional Updates
·        Partner Updates
·        Upcoming events/Training

Welcome to our quarterly bulletin for partner agencies and organizations of the Community Planning and Capacity Building (CPCB) Recovery Support Function (RSF). The Bulletin provides updates on existing activities, as well as introduces new programs and events. CPCB partners are encouraged to submit articles that further the mission of helping local efforts to plan and manage disaster recovery and resilience.

This year we hope to further engage with you all, the CPCB RSF partners, to build our collective capabilities.

We are eager to use this bulletin to highlight the activities of your organization!

-Matt Campbell, CPCB RSF National Coordinator

Title: CPCB logo - Description: CPCB logo with houses

Help Us Build the Community Recovery Management Toolkit.
Check out CPCB’s Community Recovery Management Toolkit! The toolkit provides a list of resources to help communities organize, plan, and manage post-disaster recovery.  Let us know if you have a resource we could feature, or an idea to address a gap. We will be transitioning to a more searchable, robust website this year.
Send ideas to or contact if you have questions.

Events, Dates & Deadlines

DevSummit 2/15


Revitalizing Vulnerable Communities
Matt Campbell, CPCB National Coordinator
The last edition of the CPCB RSF Bulletin highlighted the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), Equity in Disaster Planning Roundtable.  In this edition, we will highlight the challenge of planning for and implementing an inclusive disaster recovery process.  The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Environmental Justice program, and Senior Environmental Justice Advisor, Mustafa Ali, hosted the National Funding and Resources Summit to Revitalize Vulnerable Communities on October 25 and 26 in Arlington, VA. Both days began with strong inspirational speakers. The keynote speaker on the first day was former EPA Administrator, Gina McCarthy, and the keynote speaker on the second day was Hip Hop Caucus President and CEO Reverend Lennox Yearwood Jr. Participants and speakers came from around the country to address environmental justice issues. The Summit included a track to examine ways to improve upon equity concerns in disasters, such as Hurricane Katrina and the current water crisis in Flint, Michigan.

Title: Picture of Matt Campbell  - Description: Picture of Matt Campbell, CPCB National Cooridnator presenting. Matt Campbell, CPCB National CoordinatorI helped to facilitate a Disaster Recovery panel. The panel addressed the equity issues that vulnerable populations’ face. The panel also discussed how communities can build resilience by addressing the needs of all members. The first speaker on the panel was Professor of Sociology and Founding Director of the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice at Dillard University, Dr. Beverly Wright. Dr. Wright, a Hurricane Katrina survivor, spoke about disaster capitalism and the consequences for vulnerable communities during Hurricane Katrina. She addressed issues of inclusion, equity, and race during the recovery. The second speaker was Co-Director, Human Rights Attorney, and advocate for environmental human rights Monique Harden. Harden also spoke about the impact of Hurricane Katrina on communities and addressed inequality issues with the politics that guide federal and other assistance programs. She stressed the importance of being accountable at all levels  so that the transition into recovery is smoother for vulnerable communities.

The Disaster Recovery panel motivated audience members and inspired more collaboration among the disaster professionals and advocates for vulnerable populations, minority groups and other community organizations. Participants were enthusiastic about discussing environmental justice and race issues. As disaster professionals and people passionate about community recovery and resiliency, it is vital that we are cognizant about equity issues. In order to build a community’s capacity to respond and recover from disasters, we need to make sure community recovery plans are inclusive of the whole community and that partnerships are formed that make communities less vulnerable. FEMA’s Preparedness Directorate will be producing one or more case studies to highlight how equity considerations have been integrated into pre-disaster preparations.

To view the agenda of the summit or view the list of speakers, please look at the Downloads section on the Surviving to Thriving Page

CPCB Finalizes the Pre-Disaster Recovery Planning Guide for State Governments
Title: Disaster images - Description: 4 images showing disaster damage and visuals of community meetingsFEMA released the Pre-Disaster Recovery Planning Guide for State Governments. This Guide is the first in a series of guides that will be released this year including a guide for local governments and a guide for tribal governments. FEMA designed these planning guides to help states and territories prepare for recovery by developing pre-disaster recovery plans.  This Guide explains how to conduct a planning process that engages members of the whole community, develops recovery capabilities across the state government and non-governmental partners, and ultimately creates an organizational framework for comprehensive state recovery efforts.

A pre-disaster recovery plan, and the inclusive process used to develop it, establishes resiliency by building state-level leadership and structure, forms communication channels, and builds whole-community partnerships to support recovery efforts. The Guide will also be useful to seeking to prepare for unfamiliar roles that may include managing post-disaster roles.

You can download the Pre-Disaster Recovery Planning Guide for State Governments at:

CPCB RSF Disaster Collaboration Success: GreenGov Presidential Award
In the month of September 2016, the President (represented by Director of OMB Shaun Donovan), awarded FEMA and EPA the GreenGov “Resilience Role Model” Presidential Award for their effective collaboration and dedication to smart growth during Hurricane Sandy Disaster Recovery. The Resilience Role Model Award was presented in a ceremony at the Whitehouse to EPA’s Sustainable Communities Advisor Rabi Kieber, CPCB’s Regional Coordination team member Jon Halfon, EPA’s Senior Resilience Advisor Cathy Allen, and CPCB’s National Partnership Coordinator Leslie Tomic.

Within months of Hurricane Sandy, the second costliest hurricane in the United States, FEMA, EPA, New York’s Department of State, Suffolk County, and Nassau County formed the Long Island Smart Growth Resiliency partnership. The Partnership was created to discuss and coordinate options to help Long Island rebuild in a smarter, stronger, and more resilient fashion. As a first step the Partnership developed a recovery symposium called “Accepting the Tide: A Roundtable Discussion on Integrating Smart Growth and Resilience on a Post-Sandy Long Island”. More than 90 local officials, municipal employees, nonprofit workers, and people affiliated with the designated New York Rising Community Reconstruction areas attended.

One of the main goals of the symposium was to identify community needs. EPA and FEMA used these need statements to compile their resources to effectively create change. The Partnership provided technical assistance around resilient buildings and building codes, conducted training (including how to conduct Health Impact Assessments and community engagement), and preformed an Ecosystem Services Assessment project to help guide recovery and redevelopment decisions. Additional partners, including Stony Brook University and the Nature Conservancy, helped projects such as the Ecosystem Service Assessment become a reality. FEMA is proud of this partnership and eager to continue working with EPA in the future. This work has been bolstered by the renewal of the Memorandum of Agreement between FEMA and EPA during 2016. More information about the GreenGov Presidential award and other partnerships honored by the award is found here.

Recovery Examples and Best Practices: We Need You!
Michael Gumpert, Community Planning Capacity Building, FEMA HQ 
Imagine this scenario: You’ve had a large disaster and your town just completed the most amazing post-disaster community recovery plan. You have the document in your hand. It’s robust, is supported by your community, and took a lot of hard work to complete. Now to begin the hard work of implementation! But how do you take action on these ideas? How does one implement a Recovery Plan? Most likely you’d want to learn recovery management ‘best practices’ before getting started. You might even want hear about the mistakes and victories of other towns who stood where you now stand. Unfortunately, this is not so easy to find.

While examples and guidance on Recovery Planning abounds, resources explaining how to implement and manage recovery is not as robust. But we’re going to change that!
FEMA is working on a new training called Recovery Management for Local Governments. In an effort to make this training more relatable to our audiences, we are asking all of our colleagues and partners to offer real world examples for each topic in the training. 

Topics include:
·        New Administrative Frameworks helpful to local governments engaged in long-term recovery.
·        Solutions to staffing and leadership challenges.
·        Resource development.
·        Transparency and stakeholder engagement.
·        Project selection and management.
·        Grants management – not just FEMA’s PA but all sources.
·        Municipal Financial Management issues and best practices.
·        Measuring progress.

Please tell us about examples that have stood out in your mind, over your career. We’re looking for two to three sentences explaining the example and a link describing it in more detail if one exists. Remember, examples of mistakes can be just as instructive as examples of successes.

Please email examples to
Feel free to forward this request to others that may have examples to share.
Thanks for your help!

FEMA PRODUCTS: Using FEMA’s HMGP to Enhance Disaster Resilience Related to Building Codes
FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) provides cost-shared funding to states with Stafford Act declarations. States can elect to use a portion of HMGP funds towards the Additional 5 Percent Initiative which helps communities enhance disaster resilience related to building codes, such as adopting the current International Building Code® and improving a community’s Building Code Effectiveness Grading Schedule (BCEGS) score.

Additional 5 percent Initiative Fact Sheet provides recipients and sub-recipients of HMGP funds with additional information on how to implement the Additional 5 percent Initiative as changed by the Fiscal Year 2015 Hazard Mitigation Assistance Guidance. FEMA’s intention in supporting the adoption and enforcement of building codes is to promote resiliency by using disaster-resistant practices. A building is considered disaster resistant when it not only protects its occupants but can also be quickly repaired and re-occupied because damage from natural disasters is minimized.

Clarifying the Additional 5 percent Initiative Resources is a companion document to the Fact Sheet. It highlights where recipients and sub-recipients can find more information on resilient building practices.

Hurricane Matthew, North Carolina DR- 4285
CPCB Coordinator: Kehla West

Field Activity: Kehla West, Gavin Smith, and Barry Hokanson report on HMDRRI
On October 9, Hurricane Matthew barreled into North Carolina causing extensive flooding and damage. Community Planning Capacity Building coordinator Kehla West was deployed to North Carolina to identify needs and play a coordination role.

As of January, the state of North Carolina is at the beginning stages of an initiative (funded by the North Carolina Disaster Recovery Act of 2016) to develop a county-level resilient recovery plan in each of the state’s 50 impacted counties. This initiative will be led by the state, and the plans will be developed by contractors. Concurrently, the US Economic Development Administration (EDA) has given grants to three councils of government to assist with community economic recovery planning.

Dr. Gavin Smith from the University of North Carolina is leading an initiative to assist six or seven communities with developing and implementing community recovery plans. This collaboration called the Hurricane Matthew Disaster Recovery and Resilience Initiative (HMDRRI), will serve as a point of contact for UNC system faculty, students, and staff to help the state address a range of policy and technical needs. The initiative will also be forming planning teams to assist communities in developing post-disaster recovery plans. In addition to university faculty, a number of students will be participating in the HMDRRI, many of whom are currently enrolled in the University of North Carolina’s Graduate Certificate in Natural Hazards Resilience ( To learn more in detail about the Hurricane Matthew Disaster Recovery and Resilience Initiative go to:

CPCB Recovery Support Function (RSF) will work to support these planning teams through technical assistance, helping to coordinate partners, and working to identify opportunities to provide support or training in several areas of concern for local planning and recovery management efforts. These include community engagement and local disaster recovery planning, as well as any other needs that become apparent. Courses would be developed in partnership with FEMA and CPCB RSF partners, based on pre-Matthew efforts among North Carolina Emergency Management and FEMA’s CPCB Regional Coordinator.

Louisiana Severe Storms and Flooding August (DR-4277), March (DR-4263):
CPCB Coordinator: Tonia Pence

Field Activity: Sandra Bowling, CPCB Deputy Field Coordinator, reports on Louisiana Resilience Symposium
On December 8, 2016 the CPCB Recovery Support Function team, with help from the National Disaster Recovery Support cadre, helped produce the State of Louisiana Symposium on Recovery and Resilience in Lafayette, La. The Louisiana Symposium provided a time and place to learn about best practices to parishes and municipalities impacted by the 2016 flooding,

There were a total of 215 individuals in attendance at the Symposium. Eighteen parishes were represented, including five mayors. Attendees included over seventy representatives and people from different state agencies, state university partners, planning commissions, and various other organizations. There was a heavy presence of Federal agencies who supported the state-led event, serving in the roles of staff support, logistics staff, subject matter experts, presenters and facilitators. There were 49 speakers and facilitators supporting the event, including keynote speaker, Jane Cage, from Joplin Mo. There were 26 sponsors from both state and federal agencies and organizations who were involved in the planning, support, and implementation of the symposium.

The goal of the event, from a FEMA perspective, was to support the state in their disaster recovery efforts by providing practical and inspirational information to local impacted community leaders, and by aiding their understanding of the recovery process. The State saw this event as its formal “kick-off” to their recovery efforts. Our RSF partners were pleased with the turnout and celebrated the event as a great networking opportunity.   One key co-sponsor and participant commented, “[the symposium team] put on a very professional, informative, and truly first class symposium. The sessions were informative and the networking opportunity was super. The Louisiana Municipal Association is proud to have been included as a co-sponsor and bask in some of the reflected glory of your hard work and dedication to the resilient recovery for our municipalities.”

The superior coordination of effort made this a highly useful and successful event. We would like to thank everyone involved for their efforts, including the State of Louisiana, US Economic Development Administration, FEMA Mitigation, National Institutes of Standards and Technology, Louisiana Sea Grant and NOAA, Environmental Protection Agency Sustainability Advisor, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Louisiana Municipal Association, American Planning Association, American Institute of Architects Louisiana, Capital Area and Acadiana Regional Planning Commissions, University of Louisiana Lafayette, Louisiana State University, and many others that we don’t have space to list.

West Virginia Severe Storms, Flooding, Landslides, and Mudslides, DR-4273: 
CPCB Field Coordinator: Michelle Diamond

Field Activity: Michelle Diamond reports on WVU “Planning for the Next Flood” Workshop
Flash flooding from the intense June storms of 2016 created havoc among a host of West Virginia communities. Michelle Diamond, CPCB Recovery Support Function Field Coordinator for Disaster 4273 West Virginia, coordinated with CPCB RSF partners to support the West Virginia University Land Use and Sustainable Development Law Clinic which hosted the “Planning for the Next Flood” workshop on November 3rd in Lewisburg, Greenbrier County. The West Virginia University Law Clinic, in collaboration with the American Planning Association, West Virginia Chapter, sought support from the CPCB RSF field coordinator, the Economic RSF and US Economic Development Administration.  The Economic RSF  Field  Coordinator,  Tracey Rowan from Economic Development Agency (EDA), and CPCB RSF Field Coordinator, Michelle Diamond, alongside Jeff Wood, from the West Virginia National Guard, participated on an afternoon panel, entitled “Players in Community and Economic Development, Post-Flood”. The panel discussed the process by which federal partners worked together in West Virginia to address recovery needs in flood impacted communities, and shared their best practices and lessons learned from the field.

Other sessions included, “Common Issues with Development and Building in the Floodplain”, “Comprehensive Planning for the Next Flood”, and “Non-Regulatory Approaches for Effective Floodplain Management”. All sessions provided the audience with a thorough understanding of actions that they, as decision-makers, can take to reduce future flood risk. The event, which targeted local planning officials, floodplain administrators, elected officials, and citizens from the communities most impacted by the June flood, was extremely well attended. Specific representatives included the Regional Planning and Development Councils, the Governor's Office, Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and the State Office of Homeland Security. Nearly 70 people attended to participate in discussions on a variety of issues arising from the flood, with a focus on regulatory and non-regulatory strategies to minimize human casualties and property damage.

The themes that emerged included regional cooperation and collaboration, coordination between local, state and federal agencies, nongovernment agencies and other stakeholders, and a need for continued education and training. The federal and state agencies involved all emphasized their desires to continue to work with the Law School and the West Virginia American Planning Association.

Missouri December Severe Storms, Tornadoes, Straight-Line Winds, and Flooding DR-4250: 
CPCB Field Coordinator: De’an Bass

Field Activity: De’an Bass reports about Train-the-Trainer Planning Workshops
CPCB Recovery Support Function continues to work with the State of Missouri and a multitude of federal, state, and non-governmental partners to develop a local resilience planning process for Missouri, along with training materials and tools for train-the-trainer workshops. The planning process builds on previous pre- and post-disaster models and is intended to facilitate counties and municipalities as they prepare resilient recovery plans. Such plans will address the after-effects of the Missouri event but also, just as importantly, recovery and resilience building for future events. The initial group of workshop participants – regional planning commission staff, county and local community leaders, and key state and whole community partners – will become the trainers for subsequent workshops.  Workshop participants will learn about the planning process as well as how to deliver the tools in the communities with the ultimate aim to develop local resiliency plans. 

Partners that have been engaged in this effort include the federal departments of Housing and Urban Development, USDA Rural Development, Environmental Protection Agency, and FEMA Mitigation and Preparedness; the Missouri departments of Economic Development, Emergency Management, Public Safety, and Natural Resources; and the Missouri Municipal League and Missouri Association of Council of Local governments and Regional Planning Commissions.

The State of Missouri also continues to implement its recovery strategies from the Winter 2015-16 flooding.  The State Disaster Recovery Coordinator’s Leadership Group continues to work with partners to build the state resilience/recovery framework.  The state’s coordination structure will also get practice during the New Madrid Seismic Zone recovery exercise that is planned for next year. 

South Dakota Severe Storm, Straight-line Winds and Flooding, DR-4237:
CPCB Regional Coordinator – Tim Gelston

Field Activity: Thom Rounds reports about Oglala Sioux Tribe Capacity Building
The CPCB Recovery Support Function did not formally activate for DR-4237-OST. However, the FEMA CPCB Regional Coordinator and FEMA CPCB staff supported local capacity building and planning technical assistance needs during the course of the FDRC’s overall support activities for the Oglala Sioux Tribe. USDA designated the Pine Ridge Reservation as a Promise Zone Community in 2015. The FDRC, CPCB FEMA staff, and other RSFs activated, including Infrastructure and Housing worked with the US Department of Agriculture Rural Development office in Rapid City, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development South Dakota Field Office, the Economic Development Administration, and the US Army Corps of Engineers on numerous projects.  The FEMA CPCB staff worked with these agencies and tribe on several capacity building efforts to address significant shortfalls, including:
·        Assist the tribe in forming and identification of staff for a new planning office for the Tribe,
·        Support the public engagement process for completion of the Tribe’s Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy,
·        Collecting, assembling, and managing condition and location information on the Tribal road system, and
·        Formulating a data collection strategy to support the Tribe’s One Nation, One Number housing condition and census assessment.

Ellicott City, Maryland, Flooding, DR-4279:
CPCB Regional Coordinator: Michelle Diamond

Field Activity: Emily Meyers reports about Ellicott City Recovery Coordination
A flash flood ripped through Ellicott City’s historic main street in Howard County, Maryland, July 30, 2016. Six inches of rain fell in less than two hours, roughly the equivalent of a month’s worth of rain. The State of Maryland received a Major Disaster Declaration for Public Assistance and Hazard Mitigation and activated its Recovery Support Functions. FEMA deployed a small two-person Federal Disaster Recovery Coordination team to support initial and intermediate engagement of federal and national partners, in collaboration with the state.  While CPCB RSF was not formally activated, the FEMA Region 2 Coordinator and the FEMA Federal Disaster Recovery Officer integrated community based planning into the discussion and connected the state, Howard County, and Ellicott City with relevant resources and ideas to address post event planning and resilience, as well as look ahead to preparedness for the next recovery event. Both Howard County and the State plan to use this event to revise and build out their recovery frameworks.

In describing some of their lessons learned, Phil Nichols of Howard County Executive’s Office, identified factors that helped their community move forward with recovery. He highlighted pursuing a planning process that focused on citizen engagement and managing expectations. “We made it abundantly clear that not every project would be feasible, not every project would be funded, and projects would be prioritized on making Ellicott City a model resilient community.” As Nichols added, “It takes on average 7-8 years for a community to fully recover from a disaster. Educating people on the timeline helps folks to keep things in perspective during recovery.

Nichols also emphasized the benefits of hiring a recovery manager who understood government processes; having elected leadership directly out in public early on and every day to clarify the governments’ role and help ensure programs were meeting needs; and the benefits of coordinating with the Long Term Recovery Committee established by local non-profits and churches. One example of the coordination facilitated by the state and federal team was the coordination of environmental review requirements so sidewalks on Main Street could be expanded in line with the County’s Complete Streets vision.

The County and State, through coordination led by the Maryland Emergency Management Agency, remain committed to risk reduction over the long haul as they complete their community engagement and work with an engineering firm on a hydrology and hydraulic study to quantify projects’ flood mitigation benefit.

CPCB Activity around the Regions

Title: CPCB Region Map - Description: Outlines the FEMA regions 
Region 1. ME, VT, NH, MA, RI, CT
Region 2. NY, PR
Region 3. PA, DE, VA, WV, NJ, MD, DE
Region 4. NC, SC, GA, FL, TN, KY, MS
Region 5. MN, WI, MI, OH, IN, IL
Region 6. NH, TX, LA, AR, OK
Region 7. NE, IA, KS, MO
Region 8. MT, ND, SD, WY, CO, UT
Region 9. CA, NV, AZ
Region 10. AX, WA, OR, ID

Resilience Land Use Implementation Assessment Tool in Development for New York: Region II

CPCB RSF, including FEMA staff and partners in FEMA Region II, have been working together to develop a Resilient Land Use Implementation Assessment Tool in response to needs from Hurricane Sandy on Long Island. The tool is designed to help communities recognize coastal hazards and risks and help them assess and refine local laws and policies in a way that will improve resilience across urban sectors.

In order to support Sandy impacted communities on Long Island, CPCB RSF facilitated collaboration among New York State, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Touro College Land Use and Sustainable Development Law Institute.  The tool works by walking a community through the critical elements to building coastal resilience. From understanding the known hazards and vulnerabilities to identifying appropriate strategies and interventions that can reduce risk of building community support to improve resilience and remove barriers to implementation. The tool allows them to see their strengths, gaps, and challenges in building local resilience and interconnections between them. The tool then offers applicable priority strategies to build on successes and address the challenges at the local level. The strategies put a heavy emphasis on refining local laws, building codes, and zoning regulations.

In February, the CPCB RSF, in coordination with and support from the State and our partners will pilot a draft version of the tool in a number of Long Island communities. This pilot will allow us to further refine the tool and enhance the resilience strategies offered. Once completed, the tool will also be connected to a set of model local laws that consider future risk due to sea-level rise, storm surge and/or flooding. These lows are being developed by the New York State as part of the implementation of the state’s Community Risk and Resilience Act.

The final tool is set to be released in Spring 2017.

Commitment to Partnership and information Sharing:
Region 9
Gina Dandi, CPCB Regional Coordinator, Region 9
When Community Planning Capacity Building is not working on disasters we focus on information sharing, creating/ maintaining relationships with new CPCB partners, and making sure the states within their region are adequately equipped with a recovery plan.  

Currently region 9 FDRC, Robert (Bob) Troy, is preparing for a delivery of the NDRF Leadership Academy.  CPCB RSF is assisting him in preparing and delivery of this course. The FDRC is working with FEMA HQ and multiple divisions within the region to identify State, Local and Federal partners to participate in one workshop in the Region 9 office in Oakland, CA. The workshop will be an opportunity to educate not only CPCB RSF regional partners, but all RSFs and states on NDRF principles, and convene them in a setting to network and develop preparedness for recovery.

American Planning Association’s Hazard Planning Center
Joseph DeAngelis, Hazard Planning Center Research Associate
James Schwab, Hazard Planning Center Manager

Beginning in mid-October 2016, American Planning Association’s (APA) Hazards Planning Center led efforts to conduct outreach to states affected by Hurricane Matthew, coordinating with other APA staff, leaders of APA’s Hazard Mitigation and Disaster Recovery Planning Division, chapter leaders, and partnering organizations. After convening an initial internal meeting to coordinate chapter outreach and gather relevant resources, APA scheduled a call with chapters and partner organizations in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Louisiana (which was not impacted by Hurricane Matthew, but suffered significant flooding due to torrential rainstorms earlier in 2016).

In advance of this call, APA gathered a wide array of relevant research, education, communications, and other resources on a Hurricane Matthew-specific webpage. This greatly simplified outreach to chapters, putting all relevant materials and resources in one easily accessible place. A November 18th APA-led call with affected chapters and partner organizations followed. APA walked participants through available resources and listened to status updates on recovery efforts from affected chapters. APA also requested stories/images from planners in affected communities for the purposes of peer-to-peer learning and news and to illustrate the value of planning professionals in preparing communities for 21st century hazard mitigation and response.  APA sent out a follow-up message to chapters in December, reiterating available resources and support for recovery efforts and communications needs. The Hazards Planning Center is currently developing a post-disaster protocol for APA partly inspired by its Matthew response to formalize and standardize its organizational response to future natural disasters, and plans to continue active outreach and assistance to chapters and practitioners in the affected areas.

For more information feel free to contact Joseph DeAngelis at or James Schwab at

Also see the APA Hazards Page and the Hazard Mitigation and Disaster Recovery Division page.

Best Practice: Delaware Database for Funding Resilient Communities
Region III Resilience Report

There are a seemingly countless number of federal, state, local, and other funding sources available for projects related to hazard mitigation and resiliency. Aside from traditional FEMA funding programs, many other state and federal agencies have programs that fund environmental, transportation, infrastructure, and community development projects that support or incorporate mitigation and resiliency principles. Navigating the abundance of grant programs can be challenging, and many communities may be unaware of every program available to them.

To address these issues and ensure that municipalities throughout the state do not miss potential funding opportunities, the Institute of Public Administration at the University of Delaware collaborated with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) to develop the Delaware Database for Funding Resilient Communities. This user-friendly web tool inventories resources that support resilient community development, including funding programs for disaster preparedness, disaster recovery, education, planning, property acquisition, storm water management, and storm-proofing projects. Users can select from these or other project categories and specify a desired funding amount.

Additionally, users of the database can indicate their preference for program type (grant, insurance, loan, mutual aid, or technical assistance) and filter by programs based on whether they require a match. Programs in the database come from a wide variety of sources, including:
  • Delaware Coastal Programs (DCP)
  • Delaware Sustainable Energy Utility (SEU)
  • Delaware Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)
  • Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC)
  • Delaware Water/Wastewater Agency Response Network (DEWARN)
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
  • National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF)
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
  • U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
  • U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS)
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • Southeast Rural Community Assistance Project (SERCAP), Delaware Branch
  • The Rockefeller Foundation
  • The Trust for Public Land (TPL)

States throughout Region III should view this effort in Delaware as a best practice and look for opportunities to form partnerships and compile resources for resiliency projects that are specific for their states. For more information about the Delaware Database for Funding Resilient Communities, access the database, download the database fact sheet, or watch the video tutorial.

Collaboration on Drought Resilience is Delivering Results for America’s Communities and Economy
Ann Mills, Deputy under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment, USDA
Over the past year, we have seen alarming mass tree mortality in California, the development of severe drought conditions in New England and the Southeast, and dropping water tables in regions throughout the United States. The five-year Western drought and recent droughts in other states threaten our communities, our farms, our freshwater fisheries, our forests, and our grasslands that depend on and provide clean, accessible water supplies.

For many years, Federal departments and agencies have been working to produce long term solutions to conserve and protect a safe, reliable water supply. Now, under the framework of the National Drought Resilience Partnership (NDRP), a greater emphasis has been placed on improving federal agency collaboration to ensure more efficient use of program dollars and agency expertise.  The NDRP worked with a broad cross-section of stakeholder groups to shape six federal policy goals and an associated Federal Drought Resilience Action Plan.  As a result, more than 13 federal agencies and offices are cooperating in new ways under a shared strategy to deliver concrete results […].

Executive Order 13717: Establishing a Federal Earthquake Risk Management Standard
On January On January 14, 2017, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, on behalf of the Interagency Committee on Seismic Safety in Construction, released the Implementing Guidelines for Executive Order 13717: Establishing a Federal Earthquake Risk Management Standard which can be found here:
President Obama signed the E.O. on February 2, 2016.  The E.O. requires Federal agencies responsible for the design and construction of new buildings or alterations to existing buildings to ensure that these buildings are constructed or altered using the earthquake-resistant design provisions in the most current building codes. 

USDA’s Farm Service Agency Expands Bridges to Opportunity Nationwide
On January 11, 2017 the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced the expansion of a unique service for farmers and ranchers. FSA’s Bridges to Opportunity program provides a one-stop-shop that connects producers with resources, programs and educational services offered across the department, as well as from other USDA partner organizations. Bridges to Opportunity, which currently provides enhanced customer support to more than 150,000 customers in 20 states, will expand to serve customers across the country before the end of the month using fiscal year 2016 funds. 

“By partnering with numerous local, state, regional and national agricultural organizations, FSA employees now can provide farmers and ranchers with comprehensive information about resources, grants, courses, events and activities provided throughout USDA and from external partner organizations,” said FSA Administrator Val Dolcini. “Bridges to Opportunity is another example of how USDA is working to reconnect people to their government and provide enhanced services to farmers and ranchers, who, in turn, provide our nation and the world with safe, affordable and reliable food, fuel and fiber.” 

For more information about Bridges to Opportunity, please contact your local FSA county office. To locate your FSA county office, please see

Councils Unveils Updated Plan to Invest in Gulf Coast Restoration
Office of Communications (Excerpt from News Release No.0266.16)
On December 16th, 2016 Agriculture Secretary and chair of the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council, announced the finalization of the Comprehensive Plan Update to guide over $3billion in investments to enhance the resources and economies of the Gulf Coast in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The plan was unanimously adopted by the five Gulf States (Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas), the Departments of Agriculture, the Army, Commerce, and Interior, the Coast Guard, and the Environmental Protection Agency.
"Today's announcement builds the foundation for State and Federal partners to fulfill their commitments to the 22 million Americans who live in Gulf coastal counties and parishes to revitalize their economies and the Gulf ecosystem they depend upon," Vilsack said. "The Comprehensive Plan Update reflects unprecedented collaboration between federal, state, tribal and local partners and creates the framework for ongoing coordination, engagement and transparency as we continue to invest in strategies to restore this vital region."

HUD Announces the Rural Capacity Building FY16 Awards
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is pleased to announce the Rural Capacity Building grantee awards for Fiscal Year 2016. By statute, this funding is made available for capacity building activities performed by national rural housing organizations. There were 13 organizations that responded to the Notice Of Funding Availability of $5,000,000 for the Rural Capacity Building program and six organizations were selected for an award.
Listed below are the six applicants that will be awarded.

Final Award Amount
Rural Community Assistance Corp.
National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders
Minnesota Housing Partnership
Housing Assistance Council
Collaborative Solutions, Inc.
Economic Consultants for Housing Opportunities, Inc.
For more information on the Rural Capacity Building Grant Program please contact

HUD Launches new Community Investment Tool
On December 6, 2016, the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) revealed their Community Assessment Reporting Tool (CART) This tool was created to help answer the question “How is HUD investing in my community?” CART uses geospatial technology to show the wide variety of HUD investments by city, state, county, metropolitan area, or congressional district.

CART includes information on many of HUDs programs invested in communities including:
·        Community Planning and Development Competitive and Formula Grants
·        Rental Assistance through HUD's Multifamily programs, Housing Choice Vouchers and Public Housing properties
·        Housing Counseling
·        Signature programs – Promise Zones, Strong Cities Strong Communities and Rental Assistance Demonstration.
·        Census demographic information

Download the FEMA APP!
Title: FEMA APP - Description: Image of what the FEMA APP looks like Be prepared and download the FEMA app for free on the App Store and Google Play. Learn what to do before, during, and after emergencies with safety tips & receive weather alerts from the National Weather Service for up to five different locations anywhere in the United States.
Features in the app include:
Ø  Maps of disaster resources
Ø  Apply for assistance
Ø  Custom emergency safety information

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CPCB RSF Partner Training
FEMA will hold an in-person training event this spring for CPCB federal and non-federal partners to learn about the purpose and intent of CPCB.  Attendees will also learn, how to participate and work among one another pre and post disaster in supporting better planning, management and resilience integration at the local level.  The specific date has not been set yet.  An invite will be sent to the CPCB partners as a date is identified.   An additional webinar will also be held to enable a larger set of federal and non-federal partners to learn about how to participate.
Coastal GeoTools Conference
On February 6-9, 2017 the Association of State Floodplain Managers are hosting a conference in North Charleston, South Carolina. The conference will focus on geospatial data, tools, technology, and information for coastal resource management professionals.

Whole Community Disaster Planning: Inclusive Approaches to Recovery and Preparedness
The Environmental Justice Interagency Working Group is hosting an Access and Awareness Webinar Series. The first in the series is called Whole Community Disaster Planning Inclusive Approaches to Recovery and Preparedness. This webinar will be hosted on February 9, 2017 from 1-2:30pm. The purpose of this webinar is to highlight the unique role that women have played in environmental justice movement and the specific challenges they face.
To learn more and register please click here. 

Subscribe to Community Solutions at to learn more about webinars like this in the future

Esri FedGIS Conference
On February 13-14, 2017 more than 4,000 federal professionals are meeting at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington DC. The conference will discuss Esri’s geospatial technology and the benefits it provides for government employees.

On February 15, 2017 more than 600 developers are meeting at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC where they will get comprehensive, in-depth training on Esri’s mapping and analysis tools.

ASPRS Annual Conference Imaging & Geospatial Technology Forum (IGTF)
On March 12-16, 2017 ASPRS is hosting their annual convention about the latest geospatial, photogrammetry, & UAS mapping technology. The conference will involve hand’s on workshops, interactive discussions, and plenty of networking opportunities. 

Rural Development Conference
On March 22-23 2017 the Tennessee Valley Authority, USDA Rural Development, and Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development will be hosting the 22nd Annual Rural Development Conference in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. The conference strives to bring local leaders across Tennessee together to learn from each other and expert Speakers around the nation.

Preparedness Summit
On April 25-28, 2017 the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) will be hosting the Preparedness Summit at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis in Atlanta, Georgia. This summit will explore the factors driving change in our world, and analyze how they will impact the future of public health preparedness.

National Flood Conference
On April 30-May 3, 2017 the Property Casualty Insurers (PCI) will be hosting the National Flood Conference in Washington, DC. This conference is an opportunity for agents, insurers, underwriters, legal and claims professionals, floodplain managers, lenders, flood services, and government stakeholders to hear what’s new and coming, hear from experts, network, and attending breakout sessions on trending topics.

New Jersey Emergency Preparedness Association Conference
On May 2-6, 2017 New Jersey Emergency Preparedness Association (NJEPA) is hosting a conference at Tropicana Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The conference is designed to meet the needs of New Jersey’s Emergency Managers and our private partners in the emergency management community. The conference will consist of training opportunities, breakout sessions on trending topics, networking opportunities, and exhibits and displays.

American Planning Association’s 2017 National Planning Conference
APA will be hosting their National Planning Conference on May 6-9, 2017 in New York City. The conference offers opportunities to tour, train, participate in workshops, attend special events, and network.

Emergency Management Institute (EMI) Training
On May 15-18,, 2017 EMI is offering a 4 day course targeted at local jurisdictions, tribal governments, non-profit organizations, state, FEMA employees, and public or private sector organizations that offer consulting services to Unified HMA grant applications. This course will provide grant applicants and sub-applicants the knowledge to develop and submit Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) applicants. More information is found at E0212 UHMA Developing Quality Applications May 15-18, 2017.

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