The White House has announced new resiliency initiatives based on the findings of the 2016 National Preparedness Report, released in March by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The report identified vulnerabilities and areas for improvement in the country’s ability to respond to and recover from natural disasters, technological hazards, acts of terrorism and other threats.
Federal agencies are declaring new actions to help build the capacity of state, local, tribal, territorial, private sector and nonprofit agencies to recover from future disasters.
The Economic Recovery Training For Emergency Management and Economic Development Practitioners program will provide $1,506,000 for state, local, tribal and territorial emergency managers and economic development professionals to identify and undertake economic recovery and resiliency initiatives. The program is Administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and U.S. Economic Development Administration.
The Leaders in Business Community Resilience initiative, administered by FEMA, the U.S. Department of Commerce (Commerce) and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) will provide guidance for state-level engagement with the private sector. The initiative creates a platform for businesses to be recognized for building community resilience. FEMA, SBA and Commerce will convene events across the country over the next year to support local efforts to create preparedness partnerships between the private and public sectors.
The Built Environment Resilience Gateway has been added to the U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit by the National Institute of Standards and Technology-sponsored Community Resilience Standards Panel, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the U.S. Forest Service. The gateway is dedicated to community resilience measures for urban communities and infrastructure. Areas of focus include buildings and structures, disaster planning, energy, water and wastewater, social equity, planning and land use, transportation, communications and related topics.
The U.S. Department of Energy’s initiative to Enhance Situational Awareness of Energy System Status enhances the real-time monitoring and predictive capabilities of the Environment for Analysis of Geo-Located Energy Information (EAGLE-I) system. EAGLE-I will become the authoritative source supporting state and local agencies to track the status of energy systems nationwide. The system will help target and mobilize public and private sector resources during post-incident recovery.
DHS will establish a National Network of Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience Resources. The network will consist of trained infrastructure recovery and resilience experts who can provide assistance to communities in disaster-impacted areas. The network will assist with rebuilding following the August flooding in Louisiana and with future events upon request. Contact IDR@hq.dhs.gov for more information.
FEMA has launched the Community Recovery Resource Portal. The portal will help community leaders access post-disaster recovery resources.
The Support Homeless Persons in Pre-Disaster Planning, Response and Recovery program, administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, offers a toolkit focused on the needs of homeless populations before, during and after disasters.
New training to help cultural institutions in disaster preparedness is also available from the Heritage Emergency National Task Force and the National Endowment for the Humanities. A webinar series will provide training and guidance to emergency managers and cultural stewards on how to strengthen disaster preparedness in the cultural community.
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