FEMA’s Approach to Disaster Recovery: Planning and Coordinated Support

BLOG POST | Jun 11, 2015

To build community planning resources and support for areas hit by a disaster, FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Administration) launched a coordinated effort called CPCB RSF (Community Planning and Capacity Building Recovery Support Function), aligning the resources and expertise of numerous strategic partners to help communities become resilient.  ICMA is one of the partners in this FEMA initiative.   First CPCB RSF provides tools and training on developing recovery plans in communities before any disaster has struck. CPCB RSF then also coordinates support to communities after a disaster, organizing its partners to meet the needs of disaster-impacted governments.

The recovery support function has increased pre-disaster planning, helped communities build resiliency after a disaster, and assisted recovery in eight presidentially-declared disaster areas across the country. This blog post highlights a handful of CPCB RSF successes in 2014:

  1. CPCB and partners launched the Community Recovery Management Toolkit (CRMT), which provides local leaders and officials with quick reference material to aid post-disaster planning, organization, and management of recovery efforts.
  2. To increase specialization in emergency response, CPCB RSF staff supported the creation of the new Hazard Mitigation and Disaster Recovery Planning Division (HMDR) within the American Planning Association.
  3. To help increase support after disasters, CPCB RSF hosted community workshops to engage citizens in the recovery process. This article discusses how FEMA hired and trained local residents in Colorado during the flooding and landslide last year.
  4. The CPCB RSF, EPA, HUD, and DOT, along with New York State, Suffolk and Nassau counties, and Metropolitan Transit Authority collaborated to form the Long Island Smart Growth Resilience Partnership to ensure sustainable and resilient Hurricane Sandy recovery.
  5. The CPCB RSF assisted the New Jersey Resiliency Network design and implement a post-Sandy municipal needs assessment for long-term recovery and resiliency planning.

To learn more about the work of CPCB RSF and how your community might benefit from the training and support, check out the CPCB RSF 2014 Year in Review document on the Knowledge Network.

If you were directing the CPBD RSF initiative, what would you focus on in the coming year? Please post your comments below

Douglas Shontz

Knowledge Network Intern


ICMA Blog


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