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Disaster Resilience in Action

Communities across the country are working to prepare for disasters and be in a better place to jump start their recovery after a disaster. Learn more about these communities, the ways they are preparing for the future, and the help FEMA is providing to make our nation stronger.

Deanne Criswell

"Helping people before, during and after disasters starts with ensuring that communities across the country have the resources they need to build with resilience. That’s why this Disaster Resilience Month we will be hitting the road to showcase hazard mitigation projects that protect people and property from natural disasters. Thanks to President Biden’s Investing in America agenda and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we will be able to make these historic investments in communities nationwide."

— Deanne Criswell, FEMA Administrator






Princeville, North Carolina is Protecting Their Legacy and Building Their Town Back Stronger

This small historic town, the first to be chartered by freed slaves in America, has suffered from devastating flooding. Today they are working on a plan to build back better and stronger to save their town.

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Historic home in Freeport, NY, is elevated to reduce risks from future flooding
Historic Home in Freeport, NY is Elevated to Reduce Risks from Future Flooding — After Hurricane Sandy, these New York homeowners elevated their house.

Madison Mitigation Projects Reduce Flooding

Every 100 years, the City of Madison, Wisconsin can expect an extreme rainfall of 6-inches. In 2018, they received 12-inches, resulting in catastrophic flooding.

St. Bernard Parish Created Permanent Lake Rim to Help Protect Community from Flooding

Four hundred acres of broken marsh in St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana is being restored, including protection to nearly 500 buildings that suffer repeated damage during flooding events.

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FEMA Celebrates Disaster Resilience Month with Visit to DC Water Plant

Over the past seven years, DC Water has applied for and received several types of FEMA funding to develop, plan, and construct the floodwall. Currently one section is finished, with three more planned soon using FEMA funding. When complete, these floodwall segments will protect the plant from a 500-year flood event, keeping critical infrastructure safe and operating 24/7. 

Members of the Santa Clara Pueblo tribe performing a ceremonial dance.

A Tribe’s Journey to Prepare, Mitigate and Recover

The majority of the Santa Clara Pueblo’s forested land was destroyed by a fire in 2011, which eventually caused dangerous erosion and flash flooding. Now the tribe is learning how to build back better to protect from devastating fires and floods.

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Mitigation Works: Santa Barbara County Debris Basin Designed to Protect Homes from Flood after Fire

Rainstorms following the December 2017 – January 2018 Thomas Fire in Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties caused a destructive debris flow and destroyed the homes. Learn how the community rebuilt and created a sustainable solution to address future disasters.

Extreme Heat

“We have the greatest opportunity to build resilient communities with bold, big projects that eliminate effects of extreme heat. The challenge is to build a pathway to success, and the way we do this is the relationships and engagements we build upon today.”

Tom Sivak, Region 5 Regional Administrator

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Before During & After: A Podcast for Emergency Managers by FEMA

FEMA Podcast

FEMA's podcast recently released two episodes examining how emergency managers can help their communities be more resilient to extreme heat.

Episode 117: FEMA Hosts an Extreme Heat Summit and Launches #SummerReady

Episode 118: #SummerReady – The Impact of Extreme Heat on Critical Infrastructure

Baltimore Sustainability Plan Helps it Become Climate Resilient

Baltimore, Maryland has found itself increasingly at risk from harmful levels of snow and rain, heat waves, and sea level rise.

The Baltimore Office of Sustainability formed in 2007 to be a resource and advocate for a resilient city. The office helped to develop the first Baltimore Sustainability Plan in 2009.

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Janan Reilly

"To me, resilience means adapting and looking forward, rather than letting the past inform our future. We need to change the way we respond to and recover from disasters and consider our role in climate adaptation. This includes showing new data, new projects, new risks, and new information in our programs and grants as a way we can evolve to better support community resilience."

Janan Reilly, emergency management specialist


Storm panels, stilts and mitigation protected this Galveston, Texas home from high winds and storm surges.
Mitigation and Home Protection — Storm panels, stilts and mitigation protected this Galveston, Texas home from high winds and storm surges.

Al Dintino Builds a Home that Stands Tall During a Hurricane

During Hurricane Florence, Al Dintino’s house suffered major damage, uprooting the life his family had worked so hard to build.


The Shoalwater Bay Indian Tribe Built an Evacuation Tower to Withstand Earthquakes and a Tsunami

From earthquakes to tsunamis, the Shoalwater Bay Indian Tribe has a lot to worry about it. Sitting on the edge of two tectonic plates, these threats could strike at any moment.

To prepare for this possibility, they made a plan to build a tower that would withstand destructive waves and shaking ground.

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Shoalwater Bay Indian Tribe building an evacuation tower.