The Resilient Nation Roundup | June 2020

RNPN Header

June 29, 2020

Thank you to all of our partners who contributed content to our first edition of the Roundup brought to you by GovDelivery! We appreciate everyone's engagement and the diverse set of content we have for this month's Roundup. Over the last six months we have continued to see a rise in submissions and new members and we hope to continue that trend. We would like to reiterate that all of our partners' successes are worth celebrating and everyone is welcome to submit content to the Roundup. We hope you enjoy this month's edition!

Upcoming events


Do you have topic suggestions?

We want to hear from you! Click here to submit your topic requests for the RNPN Roundup.

Learn more about the Resilient Nation Partnership Network

Click here to visit the RNPN page.

Contact us

Send us an email.

In this Issue:


Toxic Floodwaters: Public Health Risks and Vulnerability to Chemical Spills Triggered by Extreme Weather

This month, the Center for Progressive Reform published a paper highlighting the impacts of climate change on flooding and chemical spills, the public health risks associated with these events, and vulnerabilities for communities already grappling with chronic exposure to air and water pollution. Read the paper here. This document includes recommendations for regulatory and policy reform.

New Training Opportunity: Skills for Psychological Recovery

Offered through the TRAIN Learning Network by the Veterans Health Administration, this training curriculum builds skills to better respond to disasters. Access the training here

Save the Date! The 9th Annual Building Resilience Through Private-Public Partnerships Conference Will Take Place Virtually July 14-16, 2020

As communities around the world recover from the effects of COVID-19, society grapples with what a new normal might look like. This global pandemic has disrupted nearly every aspect of our daily life—the way we do business, how we worship, and how we receive an education. These disruptions uncover our vulnerabilities and shine a light on the need for total resilience—protecting individuals, preparing communities, and fortifying social systems. Now in its ninth year, the Building Resilience Through Private-Public Partnerships Conference focuses on the collaboration required among private, public, and nonprofit sectors to help mitigate the effects of all disasters.

This year’s conference, hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation with support from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and the U.S. Northern Command (USNORTHCOM), will focus on building resilience in the midst of a global pandemic while looking ahead to future emergencies and how we can be better prepared through greater collaboration across sectors. 

Additionally, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, FEMA, DHS, USNORTHCOM, and National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster have joined together to name the week of July 12 as National Partnership Week for Disaster Management. The PPP Conference will take place virtually July 14-16, and FEMA and NVOAD will host a Partnership Day virtually on July 17. Learn more here

9th Annual Building Resilience

A Dual Disaster Handbook: Six Recommendations for Local Leaders Responding to Floods During COVID-19

The American Flood Coalition (AFC) and American Public Health Association's Dual Disaster Handbook is a comprehensive resource to help local officials and emergency managers address the dual disaster scenario of flooding during the COVID-19 pandemic. This handbook draws on case studies and best practices from emergency management professionals to equip officials with six actionable recommendations for planning a proactive response as communities face multiple threats this season. Download the handbook and see other resources on the AFC’s new Dual Disaster Resources website.

Habitat Ready: Disaster Preparedness During the COVID-19 Pandemic


Disasters can strike at any moment with little notice. To protect your home and family, it is important to be prepared. Habitat Ready helps individuals make a preparedness plan, put together a supply kit, and be ready to respond to common hazards in their community. Habitat for Humanity has updated their resources to include specific COVID-19 considerations from FEMA’s COVID-19 Pandemic Operational Guidance for the 2020 Hurricane Season. These updated resources allow individuals to assess their own unique risks using Habitat’s Natural Hazard Explorer tool and customize their preparedness plans accordingly with the new COVID-19 considerations. 

New National Wildlife Federation Report, The Protective Value of Nature: A Review of the Effectiveness of Natural Infrastructure for Hazard Risk Reduction

The National Wildlife Federation, in partnership with Allied World, released a new report summarizing the latest science on the effectiveness of natural infrastructure in lowering the risks to communities from weather- and climate-related hazards. Over the past two decades, the body of research evaluating and quantifying the protective performance of natural infrastructure has increased significantly. Both model-based assessments and empirical evidence from recent floods, hurricanes, wildfires, and other natural disasters underscore the considerable risk reduction services that natural systems such as wetlands, reefs, dunes, floodplains, and forests provide. This report summarizes that body of science and provides some recommendations for appropriately expanding the use of natural defenses to reduce hazard risk.

FLASH Launches New Strong Homes Podcast


How will COVID-19 affect my hurricane preparations? How much do shutters cost? What is the best way to make a home insurance inventory?

Answers to these questions and more are in the new Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH) podcast series, Strong Homes, Safe Families!

The podcast series features guest expert interviews on topics from safety and supplies to insurance checkups and catastrophe claim process preparation. Episodes feature companion checklists and videos to highlight new content, e.g., a new comprehensive hurricane shutter checklist with descriptions, pricing, and feature comparisons. Additional topics focus on home fortification shortcuts like soffit strengthening to meet the need for actionable, affordable, more straightforward ways to get #HurricaneStrong in 2020.

To kick off the series, FLASH President and CEO/podcast host Leslie Chapman-Henderson spoke with Ken Graham, Director of the National Hurricane Center. They addressed how COVID-19 is affecting people in "hurricane states" and how physical and social science research is coming together to save lives and protect communities.

Future guests will share information about best practices in building codes, as well as earthquakes, floods, lightning, and wildfire mitigation updates.

If you or someone from your organization are interested in being a guest on Strong Homes, Safe Families!, please email

Strong Homes, Safe Families! Playlist

  1. #HurricaneStrong and the 2020 Season featuring National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham
  2. The Scoop on Hurricane Shutters featuring Tim Robinson, Managing Partner of (GPP) and President of the International Hurricane Protection Association
  3. Skills + Supplies Today = Safety and Survival Tomorrow featuring Sean Reilly, District Manager for Lowe's along North and South Carolina coast-between Myrtle Beach and Morehead City
  4. #HurricaneStrong Home Hacks that Save Time and Money featuring Bill Ferimer, Lowe's Store Manager in Wilmington, North Carolina
  5. Have an Insurance Checkup and Make Your Policy #HurricaneStrong featuring Amanda Chase, State Farm Agent
  6. Take Steps Today for a Smooth Hurricane Claim Process Tomorrow featuring Elizabeth Gulick - Vice President of Claims Operations, USAA and member, FLASH Board of Directors

Strong Homes, Safe Families! is available on Apple PodcastsBreaker, Google PodcastsPocket CastsRadioPublic, and Spotify

The American Institute of Architects Creates "Reopening America: Strategies for Safer Buildings"

In an effort to support employers, public officials, and design professionals with reopening buildings more safely, AIA brought together more than 50 architects, public health experts, mechanical engineers, physicians, and facility managers to create Reopening America: Strategies for Safer Buildings. This initiative includes:

  1. A report detailing the background, process, and outcomes of the initiative
  2. A summary of COVID-19 emerging research and public health briefings
  3. A Risk Management Plan and worksheet to empower teams to identify and prioritize the hazards, risks, and strategies for their specific building
  4. An expanded Re-occupancy Assessment Tool; now featuring COVID-19 mitigation strategies specific to schools, offices, restaurants, senior living facilities, retail establishments, and multifamily housing facilities
  5. An expanded ArchMap featuring firms’ design projects that reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission
  6. Building type specific renderings and reports illustrating and characterizing the hazards and strategies specific to building types. Offices and retail establishments are the first reports to be completed with more to come

Resilience Preparation for Power Utilities: A Necessity for Coastal Cities


Globally, natural and man-made disasters are on the rise, affecting our day-to-day life. The impact disasters create on power infrastructure is high, since a majority of the urban grid infrastructure is old and needs modernization. Super Cyclone Amphan came ashore on the coast of India on May 20, 2020. It is a dramatic reminder of the importance of resilience to power utilities, especially amid the pandemic situation. GBCI’s PEER program focuses on grid resilience to provide confidence and guidance to the investors and owners of power utilities, microgrids, and storage technologies. It provides a thorough assessment of power system performance. This article discusses resilience preparation for power utilities and the importance for coastal cities.

Turning the Tide: Opportunities to Build Social Equity through Federal Flood Disaster Policy

Current federal disaster policy puts low-income people, people of color, and other vulnerable populations at a disadvantage during disaster recovery. The American Flood Coalition's recent three-part article series, Turning the Tide, presents nearly a dozen opportunities to build social equity into federal policy. The first article explores how program eligibility leaves out low-income people and Black-owned land; the second discusses how policies could be improved for renters, non-English speakers, and unbanked populations; and the third covers how assistance applications are too complex, hurting small towns and people with time constraints.

Helping Individual Homes and Businesses Reduce Their Hurricane Risk

With another Atlantic hurricane season about to start, it is time to consider how we can better prepare for the next landfall. Strong building codes and effective building code enforcement are, as always, an important part of the story. Equally important are the practical steps that individual homes and businesses can take to reduce their risk. Read the full blog post from AIR Worldwide here.

Applications Open for Communities to Pilot New Buildings and Housing Benchmarks

 ANCR seeks community partners to join its Community Resilience Benchmarking Pilot Program

The Alliance for National & Community Resilience (ANCR), a member of the International Code Council's family of solutions, has opened the application process for communities to join an in-depth piloting program for new buildings and housing benchmarks. As part of the program, communities will participate in ANCR's Community Resilience Benchmarks system, which supports communities in evaluating their current resilience and identifying strategies for improvement. This system assesses social, organizational, and infrastructural aspects to examine a community’s vulnerabilities and strengths.

The goal of the program is to increase education around the importance of adopting a resiliency strategy from a holistic point of view, as well as providing communities with the tools to then apply that strategy. ANCR will provide professional assistance to participating communities undertaking the process. This will include direct coordination throughout the benchmarking process, feedback collection, and offering insight into opportunities to improve the community's resilience. Benefits of participating include receiving valuable insight that can inform resilience planning and applications for mitigation funding; early access to new benchmarks as they are released to allow further enhancement of their community resilience; and a $5,000 stipend to help offset staff time during the piloting process (as well as travel to the recognition ceremony). 

All U.S. communities are eligible to participate. The deadline for submissions is August 1, 2020, at 5:00 pm EST. For additional information on the process, benefits, and application, please visit

Perspective Piece Explores Connected Extreme Events and Approaches for Addressing Them


When extreme events like hurricanes or wildfires occur simultaneously or in quick succession, the impacts play off of each other, making the damage associated with one of these events worse than if it had occurred on its own. Read more on this subject from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration here.

Great Lakes RISA Makes Climate Information More Usable with Climate Model “Consumer Reports”

As in other markets, consumer reports can simplify, summarize, and guide product selection for users. Read more from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration here.

Environmental Defense Fund: North Carolina Confronts Climate Change with Newly Released Resilience Plan

North Carolina Coast

North Carolina recently released its first resilience plan, providing a framework that will help the state move quickly toward a more resilient future. All parties involved, from agency and business leaders to community members and farmers, can contribute to this future. Read the full blog post from the Environmental Defense Fund here.

Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands: Final Installment of EESI's U.S. Coastal Resilience Briefing Series Available Online

If you missed the June 2-4 miniseries on Recovery and Resilience in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, video recordings and speaker slides are available here on the EESI website. In the live one-hour briefings, experts on local issues discussed Federal Support and Local Action; Resilient Housing and Communities; and Sustainable, Democratic Energy and Public Health. 

The three briefings wrapped up EESI's 16-briefing series on U.S. Regional Coastal Resilience, which focused on regions of the U.S. covered in the 4th National Climate Assessment and highlighted nature-based resilience solutions like living shorelines and watershed restoration as well as community-centered initiatives. While each briefing looked at the unique challenges and place-based solutions of each region, the briefing series as a whole contains a wealth of information, data, and case studies we all can use as we look for ways to become more resilient in our own communities and as a nation. EESI is currently compiling a summary of the policy recommendations and best practices from the series for release sometime this fall.

In addition to the coastal resilience series, this past week EESI presented three briefings that explored the multiple stressors that rural communities face, including high energy costs, a struggling agriculture industry, and low investment in resilient infrastructure. Speakers also discussed solutions that rural communities are developing to address extreme weather and other climate change impacts as well as COVID-19.

For more information, please contact Ellen Vaughan at, (202)662-1893.

Taking on Racism? Don’t Overlook Climate Justice

COVID-19 has made what was invisible visible. Read more on a discussion from The Union of Concerned Scientists’ Adrienne Hollis about the importance of multi-layered solutions in achieving climate justice. 

The Compounded Climate Risks in COVID-19

Published in Nature Climate Change earlier this month, an article from Union of Concerned Scientists and partners writes about the likely upcoming climate hazards during COVID-19. These can include locust crises, typhoons, droughts, wildfires, and heat waves.  

Compound Climate Risks

New Issue Brief from the Wharton Risk Center: Perspectives on Flood Insurance Demand Outside the 100-Year Floodplain

Disclosure about flood risk outside the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) is limited and purchase of flood insurance is not required. With support from the Science and Technology Directorate of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for the Flood Apex Program, the Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center at the University of Pennsylvania is pleased to share a recent issue brief identifying three drivers of flood insurance take-up outside the SFHA. They are (1) recent or repeated flooding outside the SFHA; (2) active and continuing outreach and education about flood risk and flood insurance; and (3) enough personal disposable income among consumers to afford flood coverage. This work suggests targeted outreach, particularly in the aftermath of a flood, could help encourage greater purchase of flood insurance outside the SFHA. In addition, a program to help lower income households with the costs of flood insurance is needed. Read the full report “Perspectives on Flood Insurance Demand Outside the 100-Year Floodplain” here.

Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities Summer Engagement Series

The Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) Summer Engagement Series will bring FEMA subject matter experts and partners together one day a week during the month of July to discuss key elements of the newly developed BRIC program. These virtual sessions are geared toward leaders in states, local communities, tribes and territories, as well as private sector entities, private non-profit organizations, and individuals interested in learning more about the grant program.

This series does not replace Hazard Mitigation Assistance's (HMA) annual Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) webinars, which provide all of the detailed information to apply to a grant program before the grant application cycle opens. The HMA NOFO webinars will be provided later this summer and early fall.

Each Wednesday in July from 2-3 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT), FEMA will host an engagement session. Learn more or register for the BRIC Summer Engagement Series.  

Summary of Topics (Each engagement will be recorded and posted online)

Week 1: Introduction to Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) Grant Program – Wednesday, July 1, 2020 from 2:00 PM EDT- 3:00 PM EDT

Week 2: Meaning of the BRIC Name – Wednesday, July 8, 2020 from 2:00 PM EDT- 3:00 PM EDT

Week 3: BRIC and Building Codes – Wednesday, July 15, 2020 from 2:00 PM EDT - 3:00 PM EDT

Week 4: BRIC and Community Lifelines – Wednesday, July 22, 2020 from 2:00 PM EDT - 3:00 PM EDT

Week 5: BRIC and Nature-Based Solutions – Wednesday, July 29, 2020 from 2:00 PM EDT - 3:00 PM EDT

NCSL Public-Private Partnership on Disaster Mitigation and Recovery Releases New Publications


The National Conference of State Legislatures' Public-Private Partnership on Disaster Mitigation and Recovery has just released two new publications:

  1. 2019 Disaster Mitigation Legislative Brief. This report details enacted disaster mitigation legislation from 2019 state legislative sessions, across flood, wind, seismic, and wildfire events.
  2. In Case of Emergency: The Role of the Legislator in Natural Disasters. This first-of-its-kind guide details the role of the state legislator in natural disasters both within and beyond the legislative chamber and across disaster mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery.

These resources, partnership membership, and schedule of partnership activities are also available on the partnership’s web page.

Some States Continue with Flood Resilience Planning Despite Coronavirus Challenges

Over the past several years, an increasing number of states have launched efforts to develop and centralize plans to promote flood resilience, initiatives that many continue to carry out even as they deal with the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. These examples show that states can continue to respond to the pandemic while taking steps to help protect their citizens from costly and dangerous flooding. With disaster costs on the rise and resources being further strained by the pandemic, it is critical for states to press forward with resilience planning. Read the full blog post from The Pew Charitable Trusts here.

Pew Hosts Webinar with Local, State, and Federal Experts to Highlight Need for Increased Investment in Flood Mitigation

Pew Charitable Trusts

Only weeks into the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, three named storms have this year off to a fast start. This is unwelcome news for many communities looking to limit the impacts of disasters such as hurricanes and flooding. To help identify key challenges and potential solutions, The Pew Charitable Trusts recently hosted a webinar, “Investing in Resilient Infrastructure and Disaster Mitigation—Why It Matters More Now Than Ever.” Learn more about the webinar here