Planning for Post-Disaster Recovery: Next Generation

Project Rationale

What becomes of communities and regions after disasters like hurricanes, earthquakes, and floods? How long does it take to rebuild? Is there anything communities can do to speed the process, to reduce the losses, to become more resilient?

The simple answer is yes. It is the details of how we achieve resilience that become considerably more complicated, but they are important to planners and to the futures of the communities they serve. We have much to learn, much to share. But the first goal of planning must be the public safety of the places where we choose to live.

What are the needs that drove this project forward? APA laid out nine clear and specific reasons for the project in a needs assessment it shared with federal officials in FEMA and other agencies.

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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.

Disaster Recovery Programs

APA has assembled the best one-stop shopping list of mitigation, recovery, and response resources that we could identify among federal agencies and some national nonprofits.

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Model Pre-Event Recovery Ordinance

APA has prepared an annotated model pre-event recovery ordinance designed to assist communities in preparing before a hazardous event for better managing the process of recovery after a disaster. The author of this model ordinance is Kenneth C. Topping, FAICP, one of the authors of the PAS Report that is the core product of this project. We encourage communities to review this model ordinance for possible use as a local disaster management tool.

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Case Studies

Sharing stories and experiences is one of the most effective ways to provide answers and identify best practices that help communities become more resilient. Such stories and experiences are captured in the case studies detailed below.

  • Flooding: Cedar Falls, Iowa: The Cedar River has crested above flood stage at least 94 times since 1929, and the City of Cedar Falls, Iowa, has been inundated many times. Read this case study to learn about the variety of mitigation and recovery strategies employed by the city to make the community more resilient.

  • Hayman Fire: Hayman, Colorado: The Hayman Fire was the largest and most devastating wildfire in Colorado's recorded history. Read this study to learn about the challenges, impacts, and planning efforts associated with this natural disaster.

Post-Disaster Recovery: Next Generation

Between 2010 and 2014, the APA Hazards Planning Center worked under an agreement with FEMA to develop Planning for Post-Disaster Recovery: Next Generation (PAS 576). This updated manual offers a no-nonsense explanation of the benefits — and limitations — of planning for unpredictable events.

Symposium on Planning for Post-Disaster Recovery

In 2011, APA hosted a scoping symposium to explore a number of essential issues to help guide the Planning for Post-Disaster Recovery: Next Generation project.

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