Disaster Recovery and Redevelopment Planning

The Georgia Coastal Management Program of the Department of Natural Resources has spearheaded this project since its inception in 2010.  Because Georgia has a Coastal Management Program, the state is eligible to receive National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Coastal Zone Management Act funding to support these activities.  The GCMP is focused on providing assistance and technical support to local governments on a variety of topics including Coastal Hazards.  These relationships allow for a dynamic and focused mission.

The goal of this project is to strengthen the disaster resiliency of Georgia’s Coastal Region through implementation of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) National Disaster Recovery Framework (NDRF).  The NDRF supports a complex and integrated framework of resilience activities that can be uniquely served by multi-level partnerships.  In 2011, when FEMA released the NDRF there was no financial assistance to accompany the guide.

Rebuilding a community after a catastrophic disaster or major storm event, such as Hurricane Irma, is a monumental undertaking.  The most effective way to accomplish holistic post-disaster recovery and redevelopment is to be prepared before a disaster strikes.  Developing a Disaster Recovery and Redevelopment Plan (DRRP) requires envisioning the potential obstacles to reconstructing a community in a compressed timeline and not just reconstructing what was there, but redeveloping a more sustainable an disaster-resilient community.

The purpose of a recovery and redevelopment plan should be to guide the post-disaster recovery and redevelopment process in a manner consistent with local plans, mitigation strategies, emergency management plans, or other relevant codes or planning initiatives.  Each of the categories of existing plans or policies will have an impact on post-disaster recovery and redevelopment procedures.

Recovery and redevelopment plans can only be successful with input from the local communities for which they are designed.  Participation from stakeholders and the general public is vital during plan development as well as during the implementation and plan update phases.  Recovery and redevelopment plans outline strategies intended to fulfill the purpose of healing the community after a disaster, which must align with the community’s values and vision.  Citizens across the entire community must be engaged in the process of establishing that vision.  Each community participating in the Georgia project will and have engaged key stakeholders and ensure their participation through every step of the process.  There are two measures of success for this project.  The first being the stakeholder participation, which not only gives purpose, but also achieves buy-in and provides ownership.  Secondly, when the time comes to implement these plans, communities will be more fully prepared to come back stronger and more resilient.