Natural Disaster Preparedness - An Educational Article Series

October 01, 2015

Life-altering disasters in recent years have reinforced the importance of preparedness planning to help communities recover more quickly when faced with natural disasters.

ProSource Technologies’ experience providing disaster management services for large-scale recovery efforts across the country has provided us the knowledge and capability to help other communities with disaster preparedness planning, as well as manage their critical, finite resources when disaster strikes. To help communities better prepare, ProSource has developed a six-part series of articles to assist state and local governments with disaster recovery planning.

Are You Prepared?

  • Where is disaster preparedness on your state or community priority list?
  • Are you gathering information and learning what is involved in developing a preparedness plan?
  • Do you know what funding sources can provide disaster relief and what your community will need to do to access this funding?

What You Will Learn Throughout This Series...

  • How history and legislation show we need to prepare now to recover more quickly with smaller losses
  • The key components of and steps to take to develop a preparedness plan
  • The priorities and components to list in the Action Plan to help secure CDBG-DR funding
  • Key questions to ask to develop programs responsive to CDBG-DR objectives and requirements
  • The benefits of incorporating citizen engagement early in the preparedness plan
  • The keys to becoming a more resilient community

Part One: The Evolution of Federal Hazard Mitigation and Planning

Over 200 years of history, legislation and presidential directives are all making it clear: communities, municipalities and states can no longer delay the work needed to prepare for natural disasters. Understanding the evolution of the efforts and considerations taken by the federal government over the past 40 years will help us all as we move forward with disaster preparedness, leading to more efficient recovery when faced with natural disasters.

Learn how history and legislation show we need to prepare now to recovery more quickly with smaller losses.

Part Two: The Importance of Preparedness Planning

Taking the time to develop a preparedness plan can assist in quickly getting your community on the track to recovery following a disaster. For people within communities impacted by the disaster—struggling to rebuild their lives, homes and businesses while trying to make ends meet—a preparedness plan can make all the difference. By working through the planning process before disaster strikes, a community can better understand their resources and assets—and become more resilient.

Learn about the keys components of and steps to take to develop a preparedness plan.

Part Three: The Role of an Action Plan in CDBG-DR Funding

Working in advance of a disaster provides ample time to frame probable needs and develop programs consistent with Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) requirements for funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). An Action Plan is a critical part of receiving this funding. To best prepare, one must understand the overall purpose of an Action Plan, its role in receiving CDBG-DR funding and the priorities of CDBG-DR funding. Without this understanding, significant delays in funding can occur.

Learn the priorities and components to list in the Action Plan to help secure CDBG-DR funding.

Part Four: Key Components of a Disaster Recovery Action Plan – Questions to Ask

To be eligible for Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funding through the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), a community must evaluate the key components of a disaster recovery CDBG-DR Action Plan: housing, public infrastructure, economic development, and planning and administration. It is critical that communities not only understand the activities within each of these components, but know what questions to ask to guide thoughtful development of programs that adhere to CDBG-DR program objectives and requirements—in advance of disaster.

Learn what key questions to ask to develop programs responsive to CDBG-DR program objectives and requirements.

Part Five: Citizen Engagement and Participation

Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funding requires that a community create a disaster recovery Action Plan that describes the needs, strategies and projected uses of the disaster recovery funds. A vital, required element of an Action Plan is citizen engagement and participation. Citizens who engage and participate in planning before disaster strikes can help prepare an Action Plan that considers current housing, infrastructure, economic development, and planning and administration needs—which, in turn, will help avoid pitfalls, delays and waste in the future. This preparedness plan will become the foundation for a “smart” Action Plan that will fulfill CDBG-DR funding eligibility criteria.

Learn about the benefits of incorporating citizen engagement early in the preparedness plan.

Part Six: The Road to Resilience

Resilience is a key component of disaster recovery—it reflects the dynamic process a community undergoes in order to become strong, healthy and successful again after an adverse event. A community that does not plan for disaster in advance diminishes its chance to be as resilient as possible and may lose opportunities for timely recovery funding. Communities need to develop the key elements of resiliency, which are stamina, flexibility and adaptability.

Learn about the keys to becoming a more resilient community.

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