FEMA Case Study Library

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Virginia Department of Emergency Management Office of Diversity Opportunity Inclusion

Challenge Good governance is defined by several characteristics including accountability; transparency; responsiveness; efficiency; integrity; and inclusiveness. By developing data-driven policies and laws that address the diverse needs of the Commonwealth, we can continue to build resilient communities and inter-connected counties, towns, and cities.  

District of Columbia Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency Subrecipient Monitoring Protocol

The DCHSEMA monitoring process follows a risk-based monitoring strategy which looks at prior monitoring, spending performance, number of subawards, average financial risk, audits, quarterly status review, and overall performance.

Maryland Department of the Environment: Promoting Higher Standards with the Climate Ready Action Boundary Map Viewer

Challenge: The Base Flood Elevation (BFE) is how high floodwater is likely to rise during a 1%-annual-chance flood event. It is one way to measure and indicate flood risk. However, the study that established the BFE is only a snapshot in time. There are many factors that can cause floodwaters to rise above the BFE. These factors include debris-blocked bridge and culvert openings; blocked city storm sewer drains; higher-intensity rain events; storm tracks causing coinciding peak flows of flooding sources; high backwater conditions; and heavy rains on frozen ground with considerable snow depths. There is also always the potential for an event more severe than the 1%-annual-chance event. To communicate and reduce flood risk in areas beyond FEMA’s regulatory flood zones, communities need more information (especially spatial information) about flooding that exceeds the 1%-annual-chance event.

Expanding Feedback Opportunities Secures More Public Planning Input: City and County of Honolulu, Hawai‘i

The city and county of Honolulu, Hawai‘i, held public meetings during their 2019 hazard mitigation plan update. The city tapped into local and regional networks to share the messaging and boost public attendance. Informal community meetings were held to discuss the plan; a continental breakfast, bento box lunch and small group breakout sessions were offered. The plan update committee also refreshed its messaging methods

California: Groundwater and Aquifer Storage Construction to Help a Drought-Prone Community

One of California’s premier wine producing communities braces for continued drought in the present and future.

Teamwork Approach to Outreach and Engagement Reduces Flood Risk

Tulsa, Oklahoma, has a long history with flood-related disasters and hazard mitigation planning. Decades ago, a George Washington University study identified Tulsa as the most frequently flooded city in the United States.

Financing Coastal Resilience

Bourne, Massachusetts, is the gateway to other Cape Cod towns. It spans the Cape Cod Canal and has 55 miles of coastline. It uniquely faces Cape Cod Bay to the northeast and Buzzards Bay to the west. The town faces many risks and vulnerabilities from coastal flooding, erosion and severe storms. Water quality is also a serious concern for the town estuaries.

Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa

The Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa has seen the recent impacts from flooding events on their wild rice which are a cultural and important natural resource for the tribe. The tribe has invested in several planning efforts over the years to help mitigate/reduce the flooding risks to the wild rice lakes. Recently, the Grand Portage Ojibwe people reached out to Cook County, Minnesota and collaborated with other neighboring tribes to integrate their hazard mitigation, wetland and climate adaptation plans.

Integrating and Adapting Plans Throughout the Planning Cycle

In 2017, Santa Rosa was ravaged by the Tubbs Fire, part of a series of fast-moving wildfires that spread across Northern California. To better plan for and reduce the risk of future wildfires, the city decided to integrate its community wildfire protection plan and local hazard mitigation plan. The community wildfire protection plan annex builds on the local mitigation plan by providing more detailed, site-specific wildfire assessments and an action plan for mitigating wildfire risk. The city developed the plan through collaborating with local and state officials, private stakeholders and federal agencies.

Integrating Plans to Advance Resilience

The city of Nashua used the hazard mitigation planning process to launch a larger effort focused on long-term community resilience. The Resilient Nashua Initiative used city staff across all aspects of government, from public works to public health to the conservation commission. The city also partnered with other organizations.