Disaster Recovery Guide for Planning Practitioners

Project Overview

APA is developing a post-disaster recovery guide for local planners, in partnership with Texas A&M University. The project builds on the seminal Planning Advisory Service (PAS) report, Planning for Post-Disaster Recovery: Next Generation.

This multi-year project is funded through the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Cooperating Technical Partners program and its efforts to encourage planners to consider key planning issues they may face during disaster recovery, with the goal of improving overall community resilience and implementing disaster risk reduction principles at every stage of the process. This project builds upon APA and FEMA's decades-long relationship that has significantly increased planners' knowledge of the intersection of hazard mitigation and the built environment.

Planners play a key role in recovery operations and can advise elected officials, community leaders, and a myriad of stakeholders on making sound decisions so that community values are preserved during post-disaster reconstruction. The guide will be an "at your fingertips" resource to help planners navigate all phases of recovery — immediate, intermediate, and long-term.

Disaster Recovery Guidance: Executive Summary

The cover page of Disaster Recovery Guidance: Executive Summary

Research Study Findings

The Executive Summary outlines the results of the research conducted in Phase One of this project. These results were analyzed to create recommendations that will influence the content and structure of the final disaster recovery guide. Download the Qualitative Interview Report and the Quantitative Survey Report for more details, and read the blog post describing this project.

Phase One included developing a research methodology to identify what guidance planners need to effectively influence recovery from catastrophic flooding and other natural disasters. APA and Texas A&M collaborated to design and execute in-depth phone interviews with experienced disaster recovery professionals and an online survey of APA’s membership. Additionally, an extensive search of the literature on the topic of disaster recovery as it relates to community planning was completed. The annotated bibliography is available below.

For Phase Two of this project, APA is currently seeking inquiries from communities in need of technical assistance for post-disaster recovery projects. This will allow APA and the community to field test and evaluate a draft of the guide. One community will be selected to receive specialized technical assistance to meet post-disaster recovery goals with long-term risk reduction in mind.

Annotated Bibliography

Texas A&M University developed an extensive annotated bibliography to provide information on the state of knowledge on disaster recovery. Articles were tagged with the topics listed in the categories below. Each article can have multiple tags and will appear in multiple sections as appropriate. This allows readers to review topics of their interest.

A general overview of articles and books offering a holistic discussion of community disaster recovery can be accessed here.

A full bibliography of all articles (without abstracts) can be accessed here.

The full Zotero bibliographic database is open to the public and can be accessed here.