NEW ORLEANS, La. — Nearly a year after Hurricane Isaac’s floodwaters inundated St. John the Baptist Parish, the community’s long-term rebuilding initiative, “One Parish, One Future: Building Back Better and Stronger,” is making great strides.
This local effort, supported by state and federal partners under the National Disaster Recovery Framework, is the subject of a short documentary by one of the partners, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
The 12-minute video, “One Parish, One Future, Building Back Better and Stronger,” documents the hurricane’s destruction and the enormous effort by parish leadership, its volunteer Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) and hundreds of residents to develop a long-term recovery strategy and begin to realize its goals. The video is available online at www.fema.gov/disaster/4080.
“Out of disaster comes opportunity, so we have an opportunity to be better than we were before,” St. John Parish Recovery Manager Raymond Goodman says in the video. “This plan, this strategy is going to go a long way toward doing that.”
Hurricane Isaac struck Louisiana in late August 2012. A few months later the CAC launched the “Building Back Better and Stronger” initiative to help rally public support for and participation in the local effort. Over the following months, residents of all ages and walks of life contributed ideas for rebuilding — both in person at community events and through the parish’s online surveys.
The final recovery strategy outlines 50 projects in the areas of economics, housing, health and social services, infrastructure, and natural and cultural resources for the parish to pursue over the coming months and years. Several of the projects are already in the development phase and funding opportunities are being pursued.
The initiative was carried out under the National Disaster Recovery Framework, which outlines a method for all levels of government to work together to help disaster-affected communities build back stronger, smarter and safer. Key principles of the framework are local leadership and citizen empowerment.
“The video demonstrates the progress that’s possible when everyone works together toward common goals,” said Federal Disaster Recovery Coordinator Wayne Rickard of FEMA. “The framework provided the structure, but St. John’s leaders and citizens have taken charge of their recovery.”
More information on Louisiana disaster recovery is available online at www.fema.gov/disaster/4080 or www.gohsep.la.gov. FEMA is also on Twitter at twitter.com/femaregion6 and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/FEMA.
FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.