Hurricane Recovery Resources

Our heartfelt thoughts are with all those who have been impacted by Hurricane Harvey and are imperiled by Hurricane Irma. While the utmost priority at this time is ensuring everyone's safety and well-being, APA is engaging 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 communication resources below to support disaster recovery efforts. Additional support is available through the APA Foundation Community Assistance Fund

PAS Reports

Planning Advisory Service Reports that focus on enhancing a community's resiliency and leading post-disaster recovery efforts are listed below. Many of the reports are available for free download.

Planning for Post-Disaster Recovery: Next Generation

The go-to resource for guidance on recovery and rebuilding after a disaster. Available as a free download.

The 12 briefing papers are ready-to-use handouts when meeting with officials and community members.

Hazard Mitigation: Integrating Best Practices into Planning

This PAS Report outlines how communities can integrate hazard mitigation priorities throughout the local planning process. Available as a free download.

Subdivision Design and Flood Hazard Areas

This report will help end the cycle of build-damage-rebuild. It offers communities sound guidance to bring subdivision design into line with the best of floodplain planning. The report was produced in partnership with the Association of State Floodplain Managers, with funding from FEMA.

Webinars & Training Resources

Access on-demand training resources from APA.

Principles for Preparing a Community's Disaster Recovery Plan

On-demand webinar, registration required. 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. This is especially relevant for communities currently dealing with disaster recovery. Distinguish between short-term response and longer-term recovery, awareness of successful recovery strategies and types of available funding. CM I 2.0

Disaster Recovery and Healthy, Resilient Communities

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.

Planning for Disaster Recovery

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.

Post-Disaster Recovery in a Changing Climate

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.

Planning for Post Disaster Recovery I & II

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

Planning Information Exchange Webinars

This is an ongoing series hosted by APA and the Association of State Floodplain Managers (ASFPM) under a FEMA grant. Eight 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.

Training Resources

The following presentations were created for the APA Recovery Workshop following Hurricane Sandy, but the information is applicable to other natural disasters.

Overview Recovery Planning Practice (pdf)

Institutional and Financial Frameworks for Recovery (pdf)

Land Use Permitting Issues (pdf)

Mitigation and Climate Adaptation (pdf)

The Role of the Comprehensive Plan in Fostering Recovery (pdf)

How Are Communities Recovering? (pdf)

Community Planning Assistance Teams

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.

Learn how APA Chapters can create their own CPAT program

Hazards Planning Center

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.

Current research initiatives include:

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.

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.

Building Coastal Resilience Through Capital Improvements Planning

Discussion about the Regional Coastal Resilience Program.

Green Stormwater Infrastructure — 2015 AICP Symposium

Green infrastructure approaches can treat and reduce discharge volumes and help mitigate flood risk, in addition to a range of environmental, social and economic benefits. Speakers include Paula Conolly, AICP, Policy Strategist, Green City, Clean Waters Program, Philadelphia Water Department; Bethany Bezak, PE, LEED AP, Green Infrastructure Manager, DC Water, DC Clean Rivers Project; and Mathy Stanislaus, Assistant Administrator for the Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response, U.S. EPA.

Tuesdays at APA: "Wetrofitting" Urban Neighborhoods

The Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT) launched RainReady, aimed at building an alliance of individuals and communities working together to find solutions to the problems of too much or too little water. Speaker: Harriet Festing, CNT.

APA Resources

Hazard Mitigation and Disaster Recovery Planning Division

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.

Advocacy Outreach

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 jjordan@planning.org.

Media Support

Planners who receive media inquiries may benefit from the following resources that will allow you to prepare positive communications. Requests for expert spokespeople and assistance with media relations may be directed to Senior Communications Coordinator Roberta Rewers, at rrewers@planning.org or 312-786-6395.

Planners' Communication Guide

Media Center

APA Policy Guide on Hazard Mitigation (2014)

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.

National Programmatic Support

APA has assembled a comprehensive list of disaster recovery and response programs available among federal agencies and some national nonprofits.

Partner Information

Additional information and resources may be available from APA partner organizations.

  • Digital Coast – APA is a member of the Digital Coast partnership. Through the partnership, data, tools and training are available. Digital Coast partners include NOAA Coastal Services Center; Association of State Floodplain Managers; Coastal States Organization; National Association of Counties; National States Geographic Information Council; and The Nature Conservancy.
  • NOAA Digital Coast GeoZone Hurricane Matthew Blog – Access a snapshot of the various datasets organized by hazard type as well as overall impact.
  • FEMA Hurricane Matthew Resource Page – Access state-specific information and apply for assistance.

Share Your Experiences

APA is interested in learning about your disaster recovery experience, and sharing it with members. How did you prepare for and recover from a hurricane or other natural disasters, and what would you do differently in the future?

Email your story to Joe DeAngelis, APA research associate, at jdeangelis@planning.org.

Did you photograph the recovery and mitigation efforts?

Upload Your Images to the APA Image Library