The Resilient Nation Roundup | September 2020

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September 2020

We appreciate everyone's engagement and the diverse set of content we have for this month's Roundup. We would like to reiterate that all of our current partners' (and new 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

2020 Virtual Forum Series “Alliances for Equity”

Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities | September 29

RNPN Quarterly Call: State Fiscal and Capacity Constraints | September 30

Incorporating Equity in Disaster Mitigation and Climate Adaptation Programs Webinar | October 21

Wildfire Resilience: Best Practices in Real Estate and Land Use Webinar | October 30

FEMA Region II Preparedness Webinar Series

Funding Opportunity

FEMA Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) Grant Program and Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) Pre-Disaster Mitigation Grant Programs

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In this Issue:


Resilient Nation Partnership Network to Host Alliances for Equity Virtual Forum Series.

Every Wednesday in October, the RNPN will host the 2020 Virtual Forum, “Alliances for Equity,” in partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Originally scheduled as an in-person event in March 2020, the event was postponed and restructured as a virtual series that will take place on October 7, 14, 21, and 28, from 1:00 to 3:30 p.m. ET.

The topics of equity and social justice are intrinsically interwoven with resilience. The “Alliances for Equity” series is a pivotal opportunity to advance conversations and partnerships with thought leaders representing a diversity of backgrounds and perspectives. More than 30 speakers from the public, private, and nonprofit sectors will come together to discuss current challenges and actionable steps toward prioritizing and building a more equitable future.

Dr. Atyia Martin, CEO and Founder of All Aces, Inc., will deliver keynote remarks on October 7, the first day of the series. The rest of the series will feature speakers from an array of organizations including the William Averette Anderson Fund, the Institute for Sustainable Communities, the Institute for Diversity and Inclusion in Emergency Management, National League of Cities, the National Low Income Housing Coalition, the American Association of Retired Persons, the Passamaquoddy Tribal Government, the National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and many more.

For more information and to register, please visit the event page. A full lineup of “Alliances for Equity” speakers is available on the event page. There is no cost to attend.


Join the RNPN for its next Quarterly Call with NGA and NCSL on September 30

RNPN Quarterly Call

The Institute for Building Technology and Safety (IBTS) Releases Equitable Climate Resilience Survey

The Institute for Building Technology and Safety (IBTS) and additional partners created a first-of-its-kind survey "exploring obstacles and opportunities that local governments face in addressing social equity and climate resilience." The survey is online and open to anyone (elected officials, city planners, and others) who represent cities with a population of 50,000 or more. 

The Lasting Impact of Historic “Redlining” on Neighborhood Health: Higher Prevalence of COVID-19 Risk Factors

Government and industry policy were responsible for a number of different measures, including "redlining," which concentrated neighborhood disadvantage in American cities. Maps from the 1930s, commissioned by the Home Owners' Loan Corporation (HOLC), provide a comprehensive record of neighborhood redlining in 142 cities. Today, those redlined neighborhoods are 74% low or moderate income and 64% minority, but the concentration of disadvantage extends beyond socioeconomic impact to health outcomes. This study by NCRC, the U. of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health, and the U. of Richmond's Digital Scholarship Lab examines associations between higher levels of redlining, higher social vulnerability, decreased life expectancy, and greater risk factors for increased morbidity from COVID-19. This study describes the association between structural racism, increased social vulnerability, and public health outcomes during the current pandemic. More information is on the U. of Richmond's website and the NCRC’s website.

Environmental Defense Fund Blog: How States Can Finance Coastal Resilience Before the Next Disaster

State governments must prioritize rebuilding better and investing in climate resilience now to avoid the skyrocketing costs of future disasters. This blog highlights four states that have found innovative ways to finance climate resilience, providing models for other states to follow, even in the face of budget uncertainty.

Expert Judgment Versus Yours: Understanding Local Flood Risk Perceptions

Center for Disaster

This study evaluated local flood risk perceptions of Lancaster County (LancCo) residents. It focused on two extreme summer flooding events in LancCo during 2018 to determine how communities perceived the risks communicated to them. Flood risk perceptions were assessed directly from community members and field experiences of experts that disseminate messaging and order evacuations. Overall, results implied that flood hazard messaging should be tailored to the target audiences’ perceptions in order to enhance safety and reduce loss of life and property. Read more here.

PEER Rating System Credits in Response to COVID-19 Pandemic

PEER Picture

Three Safety First Pilot Credits have been announced for the PEER microgrid rating system in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The first Credit provides suggestions on re-starting the power system and other electrical equipment, with special focus on the health and hygiene measures (PEER Safety First Pilot Credit 1: Electrical System Operations, Management and Safety)

PEER’s second Pilot Credit focuses on the strategies and measures that transit operators can implement to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in public transportation. Safety procedures that transit projects should follow are identified, including recommissioning, to prevent damage to electrical systems (PEER Safety First Pilot Credit 2: Electrical System Operations, Management and Safety (Transit only)

PEER’s Safety First Pilot Credit 3 promotes enhanced cyber-secured digital practices that support remote workers, reduce manual operations, enhance data-driven control, and optimize electrical equipment. (PEER Safety First Pilot Credit 3: Accelerate Digital Transformation)

Access to Pilot Credits and other resources is in the PEER Resources section of the website.

Parametric Insurance for Disasters – A Primer on Parametric Insurance

The Wharton Risk Center has launched a new series to better explain concepts in risk and resilience. Take a look at the first of our new Primers, Parametric Insurance for Disasters.

The concept of parametric insurance, while not new, is getting increased attention as a way to provide faster and more flexible funds to victims of disasters and as a tool to provide post-disaster funds for emerging and otherwise difficult-to-insure risks. There is also hope that parametric policies can broaden disaster insurance coverage, improving financial resiliency to ever-worsening climate extremes. Applications in the U.S. to achieve these public policy goals have been limited to date but are now starting to expand. This primer explains the concept of parametric insurance with a focus on its use in providing financial protection against disasters.

Wharton Risk Center

FEMA Region II Preparedness Bulletin & Webinars

The FEMA Region II Individual and Community Preparedness program prepares communities for disasters by providing useful information and training, inspiring people to take steps to be ready for emergencies. In our biweekly bulletin, you will find preparedness tips, upcoming webinars and events, grant opportunities, and training to help you, your family, and community be better prepared. Sign up for the FEMA Region II Preparedness and Resilience Bulletin by clicking here.

We also host a series of preparedness webinars, which are free and open to the public. You can view all of our upcoming webinars by clicking here and previous webinar recordings by clicking here. Our upcoming webinars include:

  • Mitigation Steps for the Homeowner, Tuesday, September 22 at 12–12:30 pm ET. Registration.
  • A New Approach to Financial Disaster Preparedness, Response and Recovery, Wednesday, September 23 at 12–1 pm ET. Registration.
  • Prepare to Recover, Tuesday, September 29 at 12 – 12:30 pm ET. Registration.
  • Are You Protected? Cybersecurity Awareness, Thursday, October 1 at 12–1:30 pm ET. Registration.
  • Powerful Presentations: Communication fundamentals to fully engage an audience, Tuesday, October 6 at 12–1:30 pm ET. Registration.
  • Active Shooter Exercise Toolkit for U.S.V.I. Houses of Worship, Thursday, October 8. Registration.
  • Earthquake Preparedness International ShakeOut Day in Spanish, Wednesday, October 14 at 2–3:30 pm ET. Registration.
  • Earthquake Preparedness International ShakeOut Day, Thursday, October 15 at 2–3:30 pm ET. Registration.
  • Amateur “HAM” Radio for Emergency Managers, Thursday October 22 at 3–4 pm ET. Registration.

Anthropocene Alliance Launches Flood Survivors Manifesto

As the impacts of global warming accumulate, the need for progressive, environmental policy grows. Nobody knows this better than the grassroots leaders who comprise Higher Ground, the largest network of flood survivors in the country. Anthropocene Alliance has worked with them to develop a manifesto aimed at stopping or reducing flooding. 

The manifesto speaks for itself, but three points can be highlighted in advance: 1) Help the people who need it most; 2) Don’t build where it floods; and 3) Stop the harmful practices that cause flooding, including destruction of forests and wetlands, and continuing to release into the atmosphere global greenhouse gases.

UCS: In the US West Scorched by Wildfires, We Can Barely Breathe. It’s Going to Get Worse.

UCS Picture 1

Currently, more than 50 major wildfires rage across California, Oregon, and Washington. Together, these wildfires have burned more than 4 million acres—larger than the state of Connecticut. Read more here on the disproportionate impacts of fires on various groups, including the elderly, people of color, and outdoor workers. 

UCS: Three Reasons Why the COVID Relief Executive Order is Bad Policy

We need better policy than depleting our federal disaster budget to fund COVID-19 relief. From hurricanes and tropical storms hitting our Gulf states to wildfires raging across our Western states, we need to be better equipped to deal with the compounding crises of climate change and COVID-19. Read here for more analysis and recommendations for better policy.  

IBHS Releases Wildfire Ready Guide

IBHS Wildfire Ready

The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) released Wildfire Ready, a new wildfire prep guide based on the latest science that takes homeowners through the most critical actions to improve wildfire resistance. Wildfire Ready builds on the latest wildfire research from IBHS, the Suburban Wildfire Adaptation Roadmaps, to progressively guide homeowners through key components of their home that can affect wildfire resistance, critical actions to take first, and ways to further build resilience.

EESI: Mass Timber - A Resilient Building Material that is Creating New Job Opportunities

EESI's briefing, "Growing Green Industry and Innovation: Mass Timber," looked at how mass timber, an innovative class of resilient and sustainable building materials, is spurring new U.S. manufacturing  facilities, skills training, and jobs. Highlights and a recording of the briefing are available here.

EESI also presented a briefing on this topic in 2018: “Wood: The Building Material of the Future?”

EESI: Weather Disasters Bring Renewed Attention to Adaptation and Resilience Measures in Climate Crisis Report

Recent extreme weather events have highlighted the need for communities to implement resilience solutions, but they have also revealed the many challenges in doing so, including the need for funding, data, technical expertise, and enabling public policies. The June House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis majority staff report addressed these issues and offered numerous recommendations to help society adapt to the impacts of climate change and become more resilient to its stressors and shocks. This EESI article looks at some of those recommendations.

ULI: Real Estate and Wildfire Resilience Webinar

Join the Urban Land Institute (ULI) for a discussion on why wildfire risks and impacts are increasing around the U.S. and how the real estate industry is responding with building design, land use policy, and community resilience solutions. The webinar will feature private- and public-sector experts who are implementing wildfire resilience solutions in their markets and who will share best practices and lessons learned. The webinar will also feature key findings from a new ULI report on wildfire resilience and real estate, to be published in fall 2020. More webinar information and registration here.

ULI: New Urban Heat Resilience Resource from the Urban Land Institute

The new report, Urban Design Climate Workshop: Gowanus, Brooklyn, focuses on how innovative land use and climate-adaptive strategies might improve quality of life by reducing the negative impacts of extreme heat and better managing stormwater-induced flooding and sea-level rise in Gowanus, Brooklyn. Findings are based on a 6-month-long Urban Design Climate Workshop led in 2019 by ULI New York and ULI’s Urban Resilience Program, in collaboration with the New York Institute of Technology, the Urban Climate Change Research Network, the Gowanus Neighborhood Coalition for Justice, and local ULI members. Read the report here.

EPA to Host “Incorporating Equity in Disaster Mitigation and Climate Adaptation Programs” Webinar

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s second State EJ Training Webinar session for 2020 will focus on “Incorporating Equity in Disaster Mitigation and Climate Adaptation Programs." In light of current severe weather events both proliferating and intensifying, this webinar is extremely relevant and timely. It will feature presentations from:

  • Florida Department of Environmental Protection – on social vulnerability assessment,
  • Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs – on the State’s equity investments in its climate adaptation programs, and
  • North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality – on the inspiring story of the relocation of the historic African American township of Princeville, NC

This session, scheduled on October 21 at 1:00 EST, is now open for registration. Register now and please share this information with your colleagues and networks. For more information, contact Charles Lee ( or Ericka Farrell ( We apologize in advance for any cross-postings.