Resilience & Sustainability Award

Together We Can: A Primer for Recovery

Henderson, Nevada

Long-Range Planning Empowers Rapid COVID-19 Response

A foundation of good planning in Henderson, Nevada, enabled planners to respond quickly to the COVID-19 pandemic with Together We Can: A Primer For Recovery. The community-based recovery plan paved the way for simultaneous implementation designed to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and lessen the impact of the economic crisis. The plan is centered upon the core belief that the "whole community" — local business leaders, members of the community, partner agencies, non-profits, and faith-based organizations, as well as regional, state, and federal partners — will take ownership of the recovery process to continue to strengthen and revitalize the community now and for many years to come. 

Building on planning efforts like the previously adopted, FEMA-approved Disaster Recovery Plan, the planning team led and facilitated six recovery support function (RSF) groups to identify and distribute resources to the region's most vulnerable residents and first responders. Long-standing regional partnerships were strengthened as community stakeholders across jurisdictions collaborated to leverage funding, resources, and information. Tried and true engagement efforts drawn from the 2016 APA award-winning Southern Nevada Strong regional plan were adapted into COVID-safe innovations like a community information hotline, an ambassador program, targeted eviction diversion outreach efforts and wrap around resource information sharing via mobile food pantries, and drive-thru COVID testing sites among other key touch points.

The Henderson Strong comprehensive plan also provided insight into potential economic impacts, allowing planners to modify existing strategies in the short-term that would support local businesses while planning for a sustainable long-term economic recovery from the pandemic. Thanks in part to the rapid mobilization made possible by previous long-range planning, Henderson reports the lowest rates of COVID-19 cases and highest vaccination rates in Southern Nevada.