New FEMA Pub: Integrating the Local Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan into a Community’s Comprehensive Plan
A FEMA update from STARR: "FEMA’s Region X Mitigation Planning Team has released Integrating the Natural Hazards Mitigation Plan into a Community’s Comprehensive Plan: A Guidebook for Local Governments.
This guidebook was developed by FEMA to explain and demonstrate how to integrate natural hazard mitigation concepts into local comprehensive plans. The guidebook describes the benefits of integration, provides examples of how it can be accomplished, reviews existing state authorities and regulation, and highlights successful best practices in Region X." The Washington examples include Chehalis, Hoquiam, Kittitas County, Skagit County, and Thurston County. This is sure to be helpful to any planners looking to add more natural hazard planing to their comprehensive plans. The direct link is here: http://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1388432170894-6f744a8afa8929171dc62d96da067b9a/FEMA-X-IntegratingLocalMitigation.pdf
Many different agencies, organizations, and researchers have their own definitions of resilience. Here's one from NOAA/National Ocean Service. (Source: http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/resilience.html)
"Coastal resilience means building the ability of a community to "bounce back" after hazardous events such as hurricanes, coastal storms, and flooding – rather than simply reacting to impacts.
Resilience is important everywhere because all communities face hazard threats such as droughts and flooding. Coastal areas have additional hazard risk from storms such as hurricanes and increased population pressures, making resilience particularly important in those locations.
A community that is more informed and prepared will have a greater opportunity to rebound quickly from weather and climate-related events, including adapting to sea level rise. The ability to rebound more quickly can reduce negative human health, environmental, and economic impacts.
The ability of a community to successfully recover is linked to the strengths and capacities of individuals, families, businesses, schools, hospitals, and other parts of the community. Also, there are more people moving into high-risk areas such as the coast. With these population increases, homes, businesses, and infrastructure are also at great risk of damage from hazards.
Because all communities are going to face hazards, resilience is important. Resilience is our ability to prevent a short-term hazard event from turning into a long-term community-wide disaster. While most communities effectively prepare themselves to respond to emergency situations, many are not adequately prepared to recover in the aftermath."
Bonus link: The photo above comes from TakePart.com's series on Typhoon Haiyan disaster relief, written by David Page of Mammoth Medical Missions, Inc. Worth a read for the vivid descriptions of the myriad challenges of providing medical care after a massive natural disaster. (Link here: http://www.takepart.com/feature/2014/01/09/philippines-typhoon-haiyan-medical-relief-diary-part-1?cmpid=tp-ad-longreads)
On December 23, 2013, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has issued guidance through our Regional offices to state, local, tribal, and territorial partners on the ability to incorporate sea level rise estimates in Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) project grant applications. In accordance with the objectives outlined in the President’s Executive Order – Preparing the United States for the Impacts of Climate Change, FEMA continues to support the initiative by integrating climate change adaptations into programs, policies, and operations to strengthen the nation’s resilience by planning for future risk.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have recently released sea level rise estimates for various coastal areas. This available data will allow applicants to determine the projected sea level rise at a specific site. The data can be included in FEMA’s Benefit-Cost Analysis Tool that is used to validate the cost benefit of potential projects that protect against future risk.
FEMA does not require applicants and sub-applicants to incorporate sea level rise estimates into HMA projects. However, detailed information is being provided on how to incorporate sea level rise considerations when performing a Benefit-Cost Analysis for project applications using these federal data sources. Communities that use this information will have the benefit of more accurately planning for and taking steps to mitigate against this vulnerability.
For more information:
Hazard Mitigation Assistance and Sea Level Rise Frequently Asked Questions document can be found in the FEMA library athttp://www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/documents/89659
Hazard Mitigation Assistance Programs http://www.fema.gov/hazard-mitigation-assistance
Benefit Cost Analysis http://www.fema.gov/benefit-cost-analysis
Hazard Mitigation Assistance Policy http://www.fema.gov/hazard-mitigation-assistance-policy
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