FACT SHEET: Obama Administration Announces New Efforts to Increase National Preparedness by Building Community Capacity to Recover from Disasters
Over the last eight years, this Administration has focused not just on improving our ability to respond and recover from disasters, but also to expand resilience in our communities. The President believes that our ability to respond to and recover from disasters is predicated on building resilience to the wide range of natural disasters, technological hazards, and acts of terrorism that may impact our Nation. And each time we rebuild, we can do so in a way that makes our communities stronger and more resilience, to limit the impact the next disaster may inflict.
The impacts of climate change – including hotter temperatures, more extreme weather, sea level rise, and more severe drought – pose significant challenges for communities not prepared to adapt to these extreme conditions. At the beginning of the month, the President declared September as National Preparedness Month. In doing so, he called on community leaders across the country to develop capabilities to tackle vulnerabilities identified in the 2016 National Preparedness Report.
The Federal government is doing its part to address the vulnerabilities and areas for national improvement identified in the 2016 National Preparedness Report. Today, Federal agencies are announcing new actions to help build the capacity of state, local, tribal, territorial, private sector, and nonprofit stakeholders to recover from future disasters.
New Federal actions announced today include:
Federal Emergency Management Agency and U.S. Economic Development Administration: Economic Recovery Training For Emergency Management and Economic Development Practitioners
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in collaboration with the U.S. Economic Development Administration announces the award of $1,506,000 training funds. These funds will provide training for state, local, tribal, and territorial emergency managers and economic development professionals to proactively seek and undertake economic recovery and resilience initiatives. More information may be found here.
Federal Emergency Management Agency with the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. Small Business Administration: Leaders in Business Community Resilience
FEMA, with the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. Small Business Administration, announces the Leaders in Business Community Resilience initiative which provides new guidance for state-level engagement with the private sector. The initiative also creates a platform for businesses of all sizes to be recognized for building community resilience. In addition, this effort equips businesses to take action in preparing their staff, mitigating risk for facilities and systems, building resilience into their supply chains, and serving their community through pre-disaster planning. FEMA, SBA, and Commerce will convene joint events across the country over the next year to support local efforts to create preparedness partnerships between the private and public sectors. More information may be found here.
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development: Support Homeless Persons in Pre-Disaster Planning, Response, and Recovery
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announces release of a toolkit focused on the needs of homeless populations before, during, and after disasters. The toolkit will help communities build resilience and capacity to more effectively support homeless persons in pre-disaster planning, response, and long-term recovery. In addition, HUD will use the toolkit to enhance the Federal government’s coordination of program requirements to better align and improve disaster response planning and implementation focused on the needs and challenges of homeless populations post-disaster. More information may be found here.
National Institute of Standards and Technology with the Community Resilience Panel: Establish a “Built Environment” Resilience Gateway in the U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)-sponsored Community Resilience Standards Panel with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the U.S. Forest Service announce the creation of the Built Environment gateway in the U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit which is the first dedicated to community resilience measures for urban communities and infrastructure. Areas of focus include buildings and structures, disaster planning, energy, water and wastewater, social equity, planning and land use, transportation, communications, and other related topics. The Built Environment gateway may be found here.
U.S. Department of Energy: Enhance Situational Awareness of Energy System Status
The U.S. Department of Energy announces a new initiative to enhance the real-time monitoring and predictive capabilities of the Environment for Analysis of Geo-Located Energy Information (EAGLE-I) system. By transitioning its operation to Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in Tennessee, EAGLE-I will take advantage of ORNL’s world class capabilities and expertise in energy infrastructure assurance, geospatial data and analysis, and scalable high performance computing environments. In doing so, EAGLE-I will become the authoritative source supporting state, local, tribal, and territorial stakeholders to track the status of energy systems throughout the Nation. These enhancements will help target and efficiently mobilize public and private sector resources in support of whole community partners during post-incident recovery. More information may be found here.
U.S. Department of Homeland Security: Establish a National Network of Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience Resources
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is announcing the establishment of a cadre of trained infrastructure recovery and resilience subject matter experts who can provide assistance to communities in disaster-impacted areas. These subject matter experts will assist with the rebuilding following the historic August flooding in Louisiana. When requested in future incidents, they will work in partnership with state, local, tribal, territorial; and private sector partners to enhance the resilience of area infrastructure by conducting post-incident security and resilience assessments, assisting with the prioritization of infrastructure reconstitution and redevelopment efforts, and identifying opportunities for future investments that can mitigate current and future threats. For more information, please contact IDR@hq.dhs.gov.
Federal Emergency Management Agency: Community Recovery Resource Portal
FEMA announces its launch of a Community Recovery Resource Portal to assist community leaders in finding and accessing post-disaster recovery resources. Embedded in the existing disasterassistance.gov platform, the Community Recovery Resource Portal highlights ways in which community leaders can help lead, plan, and find resources for their recovery efforts. This action also implements one of the recommendations from the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force Report in establishing a “No Wrong Door” approach for assisting community leaders in their recovery efforts. More information may be found here.
Heritage Emergency National Task Force and the National Endowment for the Humanities: New Training Opportunities to Aid Cultural Institutions in Disaster Preparedness
The Heritage Emergency National Task Force and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) announce a new webinar series which will provide practical training and guidance to emergency managers and cultural stewards on how to strengthen disaster preparedness in the cultural community. More information may be found here.