The Resilient Nation Roundup | January 2021

January 2021


In her poem, The Hill We Climb, Amanda Gorman states,

And so we lift our gazes not to what stands between us

but what stands before us.

After the foundation that we’ve laid, particularly over the past year, what stands before us is a year of hope. Through the actions of the Resilient Nation Partnership Network (RNPN) and many others, that hope will become impact, change, and progress. To do that, to truly make an impact, it will require this entire Network to take a monumental step forward; moving beyond discussions, to catalyzing action.

Amanda Gorman continued,

If we're to live up to our own time

Then victory won't lie in the blade

But in all the bridges we've made

The RNPN has proved it is not afraid to lead by example by elevating critical conversations, prioritizing equity, and working in service of others. But we don’t do this alone. Our partners will always be the greatest resource when advancing whole community resilience. In a time where budget, capacity, and expertise are at such a premium, this Network can be part of the solution, building those bridges. Through partnership, we can overcome these challenges as a community of collective action.

As the RNPN lifts our gaze to what stands before us, we have identified three priorities:

Promoting natural hazard mitigation actions

Advancing equitable resilience initiatives

Expanding capacity through partnerships.

We thank you for your continued partnership and look forward to an exceptional year of collaborative action in support of these priorities.


The Resilient Nation Partnership Network Team

Upcoming Events

Funding Opportunities

Partner News


National Fish and Wildlife Foundation: The National Coastal Resilience Fund Supporting Coastal Resilience Efforts

In November 2020, the National Coastal Resilience Fund announced over $37 million in grants to strengthen natural infrastructure that protects coastal communities from storms and flooding, while also enhancing habitats. The 2021 funding opportunity is anticipated for release in March.

Learn more here


Dr. Atyia Martin and All Aces Launch the Learning Portal and Publish eBook on Integrating Racial + Social Equity into Homeland Security + Emergency Management is an online learning community and platform for diversity, equity and inclusion, focused on racial equity and justice. On the website, you can find activities and resources including the eBook “Integrating Racial + Social Equity into Homeland Security + Emergency Management.” 

Learn more here


Updates from the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI)


2020 Recap of Climate Solutions On and Off Capitol Hill

The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) compiled a series of articles to recap 2020 climate, energy, and environment happenings on and off Capitol Hill including Climate Legislation and Hearings in Review and Solutions from Your District: Local and State Climate Action in 2020. To read all of EESI’s 2020 wrap-up content, check out the January 5 edition of EESI’s newsletter Climate Change Solutions


EESI Q&A: Hurricane Resilience and Federal Coordination

EESI’s policy team recently connected with Katherine Chambers, a research scientist at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and co-lead of the U.S. Committee on the Marine Transportation System’s Resilience Integrated Action Team, to discuss how the federal government is studying and addressing resilience to hurricanes in the maritime sector. Check out our conversation with Katherine here


Urban Flood Hazards: Challenges and Opportunities

Developed by ASFPM’s Stormwater Management Committee, this paper explores the challenges of urban flooding, outlines concepts related to planning and mitigation to reduce future flood losses, and provides recommendations to address urban flooding in communities nationwide.

Download the report here

Green Business Certification Inc.: Strengthening Resiliency through Building Design

As the world clamors to immunize against the pandemic, we turn to the concept of immunization: comprehensive protection against a particular illness. What is the vaccine to protect your building project against wildfires and storms?  We have the knowledge and specifications to design and construct buildings that are resilient to wildfires, that can withstand storms, that can manage rising floodwaters. So why aren’t more building designers taking advantage of this knowledge? Why do we continue building things without immunizing them from harm if we have the means to do otherwise?

Read the article here

Arizona State University Center for Emergency Management and Homeland Security Release SHELDUS 19 with Disaster Loss Data from 1960 through 2019

SHELDUS™ is a county-level hazard data set for the U.S. and covers natural hazards such as thunderstorms, hurricanes, floods, wildfires and tornados as well as perils such as flash floods, heavy rainfall, etc. The database contains information on the date of an event, affected location (county and state) and the direct losses caused by the event (property and crop losses, injuries, and fatalities) from1960 to present. SHELDUS data is part of the National Risk Index. 

Learn more here

Air Logo

Quantifying the Impact from Climate Change on US Hurricane Risk

Climate change is expected to have significant impacts on hurricane activity in the United States, primarily through an increase in sea surface temperatures. While climate change is likely to affect hurricanes in multiple ways, this whitepaper focuses on two aspects.

Read more here

The Insurance Information Institute’s Resilience Accelerator and ResilientH2O Partners co-hosted the National Launch of the Resilience Innovation Hub, Collaboratory and Leadership

The Insurance Information Institute’s Resilience Accelerator and ResilientH2O Partners co-hosted the National Launch of the Resilience Innovation Hub, Collaboratory and Leadership on Thursday January 14th – connecting the flagship in Houston, Texas with regional peer organizations and networks across the US. Over 250 public and private sector representatives joined Sean Kevelighan (CEO of the Institute), Steve Stephens (CEO, Amegy Bank of Texas), Susan Holliday (Senior Advisor to the World Bank), Charlie Sidoti (founder InnSure in Boston MA), and Remington Tonar (Senior Advisor The Cannon) in announcing the formation of the nationwide innovation ecosystem supporting pre-disaster risk mitigation technology development, investment and deployment.

Learn more here


WWF: South Asia Flood Green Guide Trainees Reflect on Their Experience

The World Wide Fund's Environment & Disaster Management team conducted a virtual Flood Green Guide training. Through this course, NGO staff, government water managers, engineers and environmental scientists explored natural and nature-based flood management and risk reduction.

Learn more here

Updates from the Union of Concerned Scientists


Congress Continues to Affirm that Climate Security is National Security 

With the passing of the NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act) for fiscal year 2021, Congress has affirmed the importance of climate security as national security. In this NDAA, the Dept. of Defense is required to update its 2014 Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap and provides the DOD with more authority to implement resilience projects.  

Read more here


5 Climate Change Lessons from 2020

In a year of unprecedented hurricanes and the COVID-19 pandemic, what have we learned about climate change in 2020?

Read more here

New FLASH Podcast: FEMA's Amanda Siok on How Building Codes and Planning Can Create a Resilient Alaska

For our latest Strong Homes, Safe Families! podcast episode, our guest is Amanda Siok- Earthquake, Tsunami, and Volcano Program Manager for FEMA Region 10 in Seattle. Amanda, a self-described rock nerd, offers a dive into Alaska's earthquake history, building code progress, resilience strategies and much more during this episode. Her perspectives on disaster safety through strong buildings and best practices offer a fresh take on our shared goals to create disaster-resilient communities.  

Listen here


Updates from RISA

Western Water Assessment Releases New Snowpack Data User Guide for the Mountain West

The guide by a NOAA RISA Team provides foundational information about snowpack monitoring and data in the Rocky Mountain West to fill a long-standing stakeholder information need.

Read more here

simple planning tool for Oklahoma Climate Hazards

South Central RISA Study Finds Their Climate Hazard Assessment Tool has High Utility

Many climate decision support tools have been developed to support a variety of sectors and scales, but evaluation of such tools has only recently begun to take place. The study advances our knowledge of climate decision support tool utility evaluation and demonstrates the impact of a tool within planning contexts.

Read more here

Center for Sustainable Communities: JUST Science

JUST Science serves to increase community resilience by enabling residents of underrepresented communities to make informed decisions relating to the use of science to mitigate environmental challenges, and consequently, reduce the dependency these communities have on external groups/organizations. An interactive map will be developed to assist residents in identifying areas that need improvement, and there will be educational support in order to facilitate residents in both the interpretation of data and the legislative component. Additionally, JUST Science will feature a K12 Cradle-to-Career program for students in these communities with the goal of reducing the representation gap in STEM, and the program will aim to reduce inequalities for women in STEM by partnering with Inspire and Empower Webcast Initiative. JUST Science’s hope is to create a self-sustaining effect where communities are able to create and maintain environmental autonomy by increasing residents’ awareness of their immediate environment and educating students in the area so that this autonomy is long-term. For more information contact Maya Rajan at 

Newly Published Research from Georgetown University

Socioeconomic Implications of National Flood Insurance Policy Reform and Flood Insurance Rate Map Revisions 

Flooding exacerbated by climate change has resulted in more mandatory community participation in the Federal Emergency Management Agency National Flood Insurance Program. The purpose of this research is to establish social regulatory floodplain criteria that may have an impact on various socioeconomic factors at the county and sub-county level.

Read more here

Residual Risk in Public Health and Disaster Management

In the United States, there is a disconnect between critical stakeholders in the risk management and risk reduction fields. Through the inclusion of stakeholder input and feedback, the case study within this article from the Idaho public health sector develops an objective, science-informed and data-driven methodology that advances the state of risk assessments.

Read more here

DOE Cover

U.S. Department of Energy: Planning for an Energy Resilient Future – Energy Project Models and Lessons Learned

This resources identifies various federal funding opportunities, showcases innovative energy projects that integrate energy efficiency measures and renewable technology, and recommends steps for further federal, state, and local engagement opportunities to build stronger community preparedness and resiliency. Resources includes a white paper, video, and transcript.

Read more here

Natural Hazards

Natural Hazards Center Helps Make

Research Count

Established in 2017 by the Natural Hazards Center, Research Counts is a platform for hazards and disaster researchers to share key findings of importance to emergency managers. The brief pieces in the series, which is supported by FEMA, focus on a range of hazard types as well as best practices for mitigating, responding to, and recovering from disasters. You can read more about the motivation for the series and access these free online publications at the Research Counts webpage.


FEMA’s HMA Division’s 2020 Highlights

In 2020, FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) Division used innovative thinking, creativity and excellent collaboration to reduce program complexity and ensure continuity of operations for all of our programs. The HMA Division took steps to grow a more resilient nation and reduce disaster suffering by:

  • Making $200 million available in funding for FMA and a record-breaking $500 million for the first year of BRIC, which complements the more than $1.3 billion in HMA and Public Assistance mitigation grants that were delivered to states, local communities, tribes and territories.
  • Debuting the new Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) program.
  • Launching the new FEMA Grants Outcomes (FEMA GO) grants management system.
  • Implementing the remaining provisions of the Disaster Recovery Reform Act of 2018 that affect its programs.
  • Participating in nearly 100 engagements and hosting 19 informational webinars that reached approximately 10,000 attendees, over a four-month period beginning in July.

Learn more here


FEMA Publishes New Story Map and Mitigation Planning Success Stories

The Mitigation Planning Program helps communities prevent the impacts of natural disasters by providing training, tools and resources to help them plan for and reduce their natural hazard risk. Their story map and success stories highlight mitigation plans that go above and beyond the minimum planning requirements. These successes can be duplicated in other communities to build resilience and reduce future disaster losses. Communities featured include Baltimore, Maryland; Portland, Oregon; Manitou Springs, Colorado; Marshfield, Massachusetts; Franklin County, Pennsylvania; New York City, New York; Snohomish County, Washington; and Lincoln, Nebraska. If you have a success story worth sharing, send an email to

NCSL Public-Private Partnership on Disaster Mitigation and Recovery Releases 2019-2020 State Legislative Report on Natural Disasters

This comprehensive report provides an overview of enacted state disaster legislation for the 2019-2020 legislative session. In this period, states enacted over 200 bills relating to natural disasters, featuring trends in broad emergency management reform, finance and appropriations, and infrastructure.

Read the report here