Category Archives: Disaster Planning

As winter melts into spring, take time to prepare your community for its next winter storm

Last month, Colorado and the central United States were hit with a “bomb cyclone” that brought blizzard conditions and hurricane-force winds in what’s now officially deemed Colorado’s strongest storm ever. As some parts of Colorado still work to recover from the storm, communities lucky enough to have seen winter melt into spring should take advantage… Read more

Alabama Tornadoes remind us of importance of volunteer assistance after a disaster

Over the weekend, a deadly tornado swept through rural Alabama, resulting in multiple fatalities and injuries, and hundreds of destroyed homes. Volunteers from Arkansas to Minnesota are deploying to assist the impacted communities as they remove debris and provide assistance for displaced residents. To recover from fast-moving events that come up with little notice like… Read more

Plan Today for a Faster Recovery Tomorrow

Last week we posted about IBTS’s Start Towards a Recovery Today (STaRT) Program, through which IBTS provides on-the-ground pro bono educational services on federal funding programs available after a disaster. While the STaRT Program can be a saving grace after a disaster hits, it’s never too early to start preparing for your next disaster. “Once a… Read more

A practical pathway to prioritize resilient projects in small counties

Through our involvement with community resilience assessments and planning at the local government level, the IBTS resilience team has discovered that local governments can struggle with resilience project prioritization and selection. Given the variety of projects that can be categorized under the resilience umbrella, local stakeholders may find themselves trying to evaluate the benefits of… Read more

Building Resilient Communities

In January 2019, the IBTS team, in partnership with the National Governors Association (NGA), will bring a group of experts together in Washington, D.C. to discuss resilience—lifecycle strategies and actions that address the mitigation, response, recovery, and reinvention of communities following a crisis. The need for communities to prepare for, respond and adapt to, and… Read more

Deadline Approaching for FEMA Disaster Mitigation Funding Opportunities

The deadline for local governments to submit subapplications to their state for FEMA’s Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) and Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) programs is quickly approaching. With a combined more than $395 million available, the programs provide local governments with an important opportunity to jumpstart or maintain disaster mitigation planning and project activities that can significantly… Read more

Hurricanes Hit the Poor the Hardest

Within a period of two months, Hurricanes Florence and Michael swept through North Carolina and Florida, causing the loss of many lives and billions of dollars in damages. Unfortunately, the impacts of the hurricanes will hit low-income residents — who disproportionately make up the population of coastal flood-prone regions — the hardest. Amplified by other factors impacting… Read more

What to do after a Disaster to Maximize Federal Funding and Reimbursement

In the hours, days and weeks following a natural disaster, documentation can have the most significant impact on the types and amount of recovery funding your community is eligible for. Proper documentation will not only help maximize your FEMA reimbursement, but it will set your community up for success in receiving other federal assistance later… Read more

Enhancing Coastal Resilience through Sustainable Solutions

With the 2018 hurricane season in full swing, coastal infrastructure must now withstand chronic, long-term challenges coupled with the looming threat of a severe tropical storm. To strengthen the effectiveness of existing infrastructure, coastal communities across the country may want to consider supplementing traditional “hard infrastructure,” with natural and nature-based infrastructure solutions like dunes and… Read more

Immediate Post-Disaster Recovery: The First Steps for Local Leaders

Whether you’ve never experienced a disaster, haven’t had one for decades, or have been impacted by one recently, the following checklist provides a basic overview of the first steps for local leaders to take in the days and weeks immediately following a disaster. As a local leader, you will be tasked with helping homeowners through… Read more