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How to Plan

Guides, Reports and Tools

Planning for Post-Disaster Recovery: Next Generation:  Through a cooperative agreement with FEMA, American Planning Association (APA) put together this report on planning. This report is designed to help communities improve their resiliency and provides how-to guidance for communities to start their mitigation planning and disaster-recovery planning processes. A list of resources that supplement the planning guide can be found on APA's website. Some of these resources include recovery briefing papers, disaster recovery programs, model pre-event recovery ordinances, case studies, and the Recovery News blog.

Long-Term Community Recovery Planning Process: A Self Help Guide: This guide provides communities with a framework for long-term community recovery that has been successful in bringing communities together to focus on their long-term recovery issues and needs and to develop projects and strategies to address those needs.

Community Facilities Infrastructure Toolkit: This toolkit, produced by USDA Rural Development's Community Facilities Program, provides guidance through the Concept Development, Planning, Design, Environmental Compliance, Finance and Construction phase of essential community facility infrastructure development 

Community Resilience Planning Guide for Buildings and Infrastructure: This guide produced by the National Institute of Standards and Technology highlights a six-step process to help communities think through and plan for their social and economic needs, their particular hazard risk, and recovery of the built environment by setting performance goals, recognizing the community's social and economic needs, and providing a comprehensive method to align community priorities to resilience goals. The Community Resilience Planning Guide Briefs provide methods and Best practices to compliment the guide. The Community Resilience Economic Decision Guide can also be used in companion with this guide.

Lessons in Community Recovery: Seven Years of Emergency Support Function #14 Long-Term Community Recovery from 2004 to 2011: This report provides information and illustrations to demonstrate how a whole community process can establish a holistic and inclusive recovery system that leverages all resources, from both the public and private sector.

Planning for Post-Disaster Recovery and Reconstruction: These chapters from APA's 2005 report Planning for Post-Disaster Recovery and Reconstruction focus on policies for reconstruction, guidance for the planning process, and tools to assist in recovery planning.

Case Studies

Lessons from Katrina: How a Community Can Spearhead Successful Disaster Recovery: This report provides a phase-by-phase analysis of the planning and implementation process for neighborhood redevelopment based on research and interviews conducted in the Broadmoor community in New Orleans from March 2006 through August 2007.

City of Cedar Rapids Neighborhood Planning Process: Executive Summary:  Provides a framework for the city’s neighborhood planning process, the plan's purpose, and presents the city's vision.

Hayman Fire: Hayman, Colorado: This case study discusses the challenges, impacts, and planning efforts associated with the largest and most devastating wildfire in Colorado's recorded history.

Three Cities That Used Natural Disasters to Revitalize Their Futures: This article details how Tuscaloosa, AL, Greensburg, KS, and San Francisco, CA, reinvented and revitalized themselves after earthquakes and tornadoes.

St. John the Baptist Parish Community Recovery Strategy: The St. John the Baptist Parish Community Recovery Strategy chronicles the community-driven planning process that was used to create a blueprint for the future of St. John Parish as it recovered from Hurricane Isaac.

A Peer Learning Forum of the NADO Research Foundation: Innovative Approaches to Disaster Recovery and Economic Resilience - This report shares examples of successful recovery strategies, as well as shared challenges, from participants in a two-day forum held in June 2011 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Last updated July 22, 2020