Project Need: Recovering from a natural disaster is no small task. Depending on the severity, the aftermath might require providing temporary shelter, clearing debris, pumping flood waters, or rapidly repairing damage to vital infrastructure such as roads, electricity, and drinking water.
Amidst the destruction, it is hard to see a disaster as an opportunity, but it can be exactly that—an opportunity to build back better. Strategies for strengthening regions and communities in the wake of a disaster not only mean reducing future risk, but can mean enhancing quality of place by guiding smart development, protecting natural resources, diversifying transportation options, and fostering economic growth.
Our Role—Planning and Administration: Region VII PDC has worked together with local governments and communities to create a regional hazard mitigation plan, submitted to FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency)for approval, which incorporates long-term economic growth strategies and supports sustainable development. All local governments within Region VII PDC have participated in this plan with a written statement of interest.
While disaster recovery and mitigation projects are typically administered at the local level, many small communities lack the capacity and resources, pitting them against a daunting task. This is where Region VII PDC can help by synthesizing resources, identifying needs, and concentrating all the information and resources in one place to guide a local community through a more efficient recovery. Disasters are rarely confined to the boundaries of one municipality. Region VII fills an important role in ensuring that disaster mitigation efforts are well-coordinated across municipal and county lines to help shape stronger, more resilient regions.
Project Impact: While it is impossible to prevent a natural disaster, regions can reduce its impact. Preparing hazard mitigation plans help communities avoid loss of life and protect investments. In the chaos that ensues after a disaster, having an updated hazard mitigation plan allows communities to prioritize recovery activities and seize opportunities to incorporate sustainability measures into the process.