Disaster Recovery Resources
Immediately following a disaster, the utmost priority is ensuring everyone's safety and well-being. APA has long engaged with FEMA, APA chapters, and other partners to be ready to assist when disaster relief and recovery work begins. Planners are invited to use the APA research, education and publication resources below to assist with post-disaster recovery work and future hazard mitigation. In addition to these resources below, one of the APA Foundation's key initiatives is to help disaster-devastated communities. Learn more about the Foundation's Community Assistance work.
APA has worked with a number of partners on how to mitigate the risk and impact of damage related to wildfires. Below are several publications that focus specifically on wildfire risk reduction and recovery.
Living on the Edge: Get to Know Your WUI (APA blog)
The Wildland-Urban Interface and Rebuilding After Wildfire (Tuesdays at APA)
The Wildland-Urban Interface (PAS QuickNotes 69)
Fire Resilient Community Design: A New Planning Subfield? (Planning, November 2016)
Limiting Wildfire Risk Through Land-Use Controls (Zoning Practice, May 2012)
Models for Mitigating Wildfire Hazards Through Zoning (Zoning Practice, March 2005)
Planning for Wildfires
Planning for Wildfires
Firewise Communities: An Interview with Michelle Steinberg
Post-Disaster Recovery Briefing Papers
The project briefing papers may be used alone or alongside Planning for Post-Disaster Recovery: Next Generation. These succinct, downloadable PDFs are ideal handouts for meetings with officials and the general public.
- Public Engagement in Recovery Planning
- Measuring Success in Recovery
- Planning Resilient Infrastructure
- Affordable Housing
- Economic Recovery for Manufacturing
- Flood Insurance and Design Requirements
- Planning for Recovery Management
- Adopt a Pre-Event Recovery Ordinance
- Financial Recovery
- Green Infrastructure and Post-Disaster Recovery
- Hazard Mitigation in Disaster Recovery
Planning for Post-Disaster Recovery: Next Generation
Hazard Mitigation: Integrating Best Practices into Planning
Access training resources from APA, including how to prepare a recovery plan for a community after a disaster; the next generation of post-disaster recovery; and the free Planning Information Exchange webinars that address resiliency, climate adaptation and hazard mitigation plans, and hazard mitigation implementation.
The two-hour interactive webinar, sponsored by APA's Hazard Mitigation and Disaster Recovery Planning Division, features a broad perspective on preparation of a recovery plan for a community after a disaster. Distinguish between short-term response and longer-term recovery, awareness of successful recovery strategies and types of available funding. On-demand webinar, registration required. CM I 2.0
Can post-disaster planning be a pathway to healthier, more sustainable and resilient communities? Find out how the Institute of Medicine at the National Academies of Sciences took a new, health-sensitive look at resiliency.
Learn about best practices for specific subtopics of post-disaster recovery planning. Effective ways to use the briefing papers for public meetings and meetings with public officials.
Demographic shifts and climate change are making disasters bigger and costlier. Learn about the next generation of post-disaster recovery so you have the tools for a safer, stronger community.
Weigh the pros and cons of predisaster versus post-disaster planning. Find out how to tie long-term recovery into the rest of your community's planning. And discover a new tool for adapting recovery planning to different types of disaster. Free
This is an ongoing series hosted by APA and the Association of State Floodplain Managers (ASFPM) under a FEMA grant. More than a dozen webinars are currently available for on-demand viewing that address: statewide approaches to resiliency; combining climate adaptation and hazard mitigation plans; and hazard mitigation implementation.
APA Recovery Workshop
The following presentations were created for the APA Recovery Workshop following Hurricane Sandy, but the information is applicable to other natural disasters.
APA has made these issues of Zoning Practice available for free:
Putting Sustainable Zoning into Practice (July 2013)
Safe Growth Audits (October 2009)
Subdivision Design and Flood Hazard Areas
Establishing a Federal Flood Risk Management Standard
APA's Hazard Mitigation Center Manager Jim Schwab, FAICP, speaks with Association of State Floodplain Managers Executive Director Chad Berginnis about the establishment of a federal standard for flood risk management and how that affects the hazards field.
"The Cost Comes Before The Benefits"
Former Dutch Ambassador Renee Jones-Bos discusses how the Netherlands has dealt with issues of flooding and offers a unique perspective on how American planners can find value in the Dutch approach to dealing with water management.
NOAA Supporting Resiliency
Dr. Kathryn Sullivan, Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) discusses how NOAA is meeting the needs to build resilient communities and businesses.
The Community Planning Assistance Team program has dispatched pro bono planners to assist communities in the midst of recovery and rebuilding from a natural disaster. Teams have worked in Lyons, Colorado, and Franklin, Tennessee.
If your community is interested in receiving additional planning support, apply for a CPAT.
APA's Hazards Planning Center advances practices that promote resilience by reducing the impact of natural hazards on communities and regions. Through original and applied research, the center identifies practices that protect communities from natural and man-made hazards and educates planners and allied professionals about those practices.
The APA Hazard Mitigation and Disaster Recovery Planning Division fosters professional communications about hazard mitigation and disaster recovery planning and builds a stronger knowledge base for use by planners. Join the division or connect via the Division's LinkedIn Group.
APA staff is available to assist with outreach aimed at making federal and state legislators aware of disaster recovery resources that are available for planners, but also to report on assistance that is being provided by planners. The relevant House office may also be invited to participate in any on-site event or activity. For more information, please contact APA's Policy Director Jason Jordan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This policy guide discusses the differences and the tension between adaptation, response, and recovery. There is an understandable — and economically and socially rational — basis for wanting to protect community assets in place, protect people, and rebuild in place as quickly as possible, yet this may not be truly in the best long-term interests of individuals, communities, regions, or the nation.
Requests for expert spokespeople and assistance with media relations may contact Communications Manager Roberta Rewers, at email@example.com or 312-786-6395. Additional assistance on preparing communications may be found in the Planners' Communication Guide and Media Center.
APA has assembled a comprehensive list of disaster recovery and response programs available among federal agencies and some national nonprofits.