Part 2. Recovery Planning

Post-Disaster Recovery planning for communities assessing local needs in recovery, carrying out a recovery planning process, and determining which projects best support the community’s future vision and priorities.

Top Resources

  1. Seek out the American Planning Association's (APA) succinct Post-Disaster Recovery Briefing Papers for an overview of essential recovery planning topics. See FEMA’s checklist for conducting a Community Recovery Planning Process for a quick synopsis of the steps involved in a Community Recovery Planning Process.
  2. For more information on these issues, refer to APA’s Planning for Post-Disaster Recover: Next Generation
  3. Resources such as FEMA Geoplatform,, and University of South Carolina's Social Vulnerability Index are distinguished good data resources to find great assessment information. To find other valuable data resources look in our assessment section.
  4. U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit: Use this framework to discover and document climate hazards, then develop workable solutions to lower climate-related risks.
  5. Community Facilities Infrastructure Toolkit: Provides guidance through the Concept Development, Planning, Design, Environmental Compliance, Finance and Construction phase of essential community facility infrastructure development 
  6. Hazard Mitigation Planning Resources
  7. Rebuilding After Disaster: Going Green from the Ground Up
  8.  CDBG-DR Toolkit - Explains how to plan, manage, and implement one of the most important recovery funding sources available to States and often local governments.

Additional Organizational Resources

Assessments, Data and Studies

How to Plan

Integrating Mitigation into Recovery

Integrating Sustainability into Recovery

Example Community Recovery and Development Plans

Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) Action Plans and Project Evaluation

Assessments, Data and Studies

Interactive Tools

FEMA GeoPlatform: This database provides geospatial data and analytics in support of emergency management, related to winter storms, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, and earthquakes.

EJ Screen: online mapping tool that combines demographic and environmental information on places and can be used to identify areas experiencing disproportionate impacts.  

University of South Carolina's Social Vulnerability Index: This tool helps to identify socially vulnerable populations. Socially vulnerable populations consist of people who are at a disadvantage to recover based on particular factors such as age, ethnicity, race, socioeconomic status, access to political power, gender, employment, wealth, and a variety other factors.

University of South Carolina's Baseline Resilience Indicators for Communities: This project integrated physical and social datasets to measure disaster resiliency.

CanVis Visualization Software: This visualization program can be used to show potential impacts from coastal development or sea level rise to support policy development, project planning, and presentations.

Coastal County Snapshots:  Coastal County Snapshots compiles complex data into easy-to-read reports for coastal and Great Lake adjacent counties to use as a planning tool. This tool will be useful to counties who are assessing their resiliency to flooding.  

Sea Level Rise and Coastal Flooding Impacts Viewer: This tool offers access to data and information about the risks of sea level rise, storm surge, and flooding along the coastal United States.

OnTheMap for Emergency Management: This tool provides access to detailed U.S. Census Bureau reports for current natural hazard and emergency related events

The U.S. Census Bureau’s COVID-19 Site: provides dashboards, tools and references organized for ease of access, as well as up-to-date statistics from a variety of economic sectors. The Additional Datasets page offers a portal to a full range of public governmental, nonprofit and private sector data sources across recovery issues. 

Argonne National Laboratory’s COVID-19 Impact Analyses Site: provides several indices, data sources, and analytic insight to long-term recovery issues that states, localities, tribes, and territories continue to face as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The site includes analyses such as a County Economic Impact Index, State and Local Government Revenue Vulnerability Indices, Housing Stability Index, Internet Access Index, and the County High-level Economic Recovery and Resilience Index.

Guides, Reports and Tools

Community Mapping Project: A Guidebook for Neighborhood Associations and CDCs: This is a step-by-step guidebook for neighborhood associations and Community Development Corporations (CDCs) to conduct building-by-building surveys of their neighborhood to collect, manage, and use community-specific information to build mapping systems.

Disaster Impact and Unmet Needs Assessment Kit: These resources for Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) grantees provide a process for identifying and prioritizing critical unmet needs for long-term community recovery. 

Louisiana Coastal Land Use Toolkit: Great toolkit for people in Louisiana. This toolkit provides examples of development and redevelopment standards with a focus on hazard mitigation and natural resource protection in coastal areas including model zoning and subdivision ordinance text.

Coastal Resilience Index: This self-assessment tool aims to provide community leaders with a simple and inexpensive method of predicting whether their community will reach and maintain an acceptable level of functioning after a disaster. 

Code and Zoning Audit: This tool reviews the land use (zoning) codes and regulations in your community to see if they help your community achieve its vision for smarter growth. 

Health Impact Assessment: Quick Guide: This quick guide introduces one method local communities can use to assess how existing or planned land use, community design, and transportation policies, projects, or programs, affect or likely to affect public health.

Last updated November 22, 2022