Resilience Report, Summer 2023

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.




Featured Resource: Level Up Audio Project - Season 3 Now Streaming!

Level Up Audio Project

FEMA Region 9 launched Season 3 of the Level Up Audio Project this April. This is an audio series for practitioners where communities share their stories about building resilience and reducing risk from a disaster. All episodes are available on the Georgetown Climate Center Website, and on most major streaming platforms including Apple Podcasts, Spotify and iHeartRadio.

Season 3 includes five 20-minute conversations with community and tribal leaders sharing stories from California, Nevada and Hawaii. Although the stories are from Region 9, the best practices and lessons learned will resonate with practitioners across the country. The goal is to inspire mitigation action and strengthen the community of hazard mitigation and climate adaptation professionals working at the local level.

Season 3 highlights conversations with practitioners on:

  • Creating an equity-focused climate action plan in the City of Oakland, California.
  • Assessing seismic vulnerability in Clark County, Nevada.
  • Making forward-looking policy to protect people and property from coastal erosion and flooding in Kaua'i, Hawaii.
  • Collaborating across tribal and local boundaries to reduce disaster risks in California.
  • Mitigating drought risks in the cities of Woodland and Davis, California.

The Georgetown Climate Center partnered with FEMA Region 9 and Resilience Action Partners to make the audio series available with direct links to all three seasons on their website. Tune in now!

Featured in this Issue

  • Featured Resource: Level Up Audio Project - Season 3 Now Streaming!
  • Check this out! How to Raise a 65-Ton House
  • Announcements
  • Success Story: Mitigation Measures in West Virginia Prove Effective
  • Upcoming Coffee Break Webinars
  • Eastern Shore Long-Term Recovery Committee Builds Resilience to Tidal Flooding
  • Virginia Works to Expand Equity with New Hazard Mitigation Plan
  • Community Pop-Up Events in Washington, DC Promote Preparedness and Resilience
  • Delaware Climate Action Plan Showcased at Delaware Risk Reduction Consultation
  • Spotlight: Jeff Jumper, Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency
  • Upcoming Events

Check this out! How to Raise a 65-Ton House

Over the past ten years, the City of Hampton, Virginia, a coastal community along the Chesapeake Bay, has ramped up its mitigation program. Its focus has been on helping protect residents’ most prized asset: their homes.

This two-minute video shines a spotlight on the City’s Home Elevation program, explaining exactly how you lift a home off its foundation and elevate it to prevent future flooding. FEMA Region 3 produced the video as a part of documenting Hampton’s success in mitigation work in April 2023.

This elevation project is just one of many the City has done over the past decade. In 2012, the City’s Emergency Management team honed in on mitigation projects they could do in the city to reduce flood risk. Since then, the City has completed 17 home elevations, one demolition and acquisition, and one construction rebuild through FEMA funding.

With equity at the forefront, the City of Hampton has made it its mission to help residents across all socioeconomic levels, encouraging past participants in the program to talk to their neighbors about the benefits of elevating their homes. The City has become a model for communities interested in getting started in mitigation work. The team in Hampton is ready to help other communities get started.



  • FEMA released its updated Local Mitigation Planning Handbook. The handbook is a companion to the updated Local Mitigation Planning Policy Guide that took effect in April 2023. It provides a framework that local governments can build on to meet the requirements for FEMA approval and reduce vulnerabilities and long-term risks from natural hazards.

  • Maryland Department of Emergency Management (MDEM) is seeking a qualified candidate. You can apply for the Chief Resilience Officer position here.

  • The 2023 Resilient Virginia Conference will take place from August 1-2 at University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business in Charlottesville. Both online and in-person attendance will be available. Register today!


Success Story: Mitigation Measures in West Virginia Prove Effective

A man on a ladder cleaning off the roof of a house

Source: Getty Images

Mitigation in action! Officials in Lincoln County, West Virginia say that mitigation projects completed in the years since the historic June 2016 flooding prevented further damage following heavy rains this past February.

In June 2016, much of the state suffered severe storms, flooding, landslides and mudslides. After the disaster, FEMA approved $1.5 million through the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) that was matched by the state. There was also an additional $500,000 for the acquisition and demolition of 19 residential structures in flood-prone areas of Hamlin, Lincoln County. As a result, it is projected that more than $14 million in future damages to former and current homeowners were avoided.

West Virginia Emergency Management Division Director G.E. McCabe noted that mitigation projects in other parts of the state were also successful. Officials from both the state and FEMA are proud that the mitigation actions taken made a difference in preventing damage and keeping West Virginia residents safe.

Learn more about successful mitigation in West Virginia here.

Upcoming Region 3 Coffee Break Webinars


FEMA Region 3 hosts a webinar series for anyone who is interested in reducing risk in their community. These hour-long “Coffee Breaks” are held every other month. They share mitigation best practices and highlight the work happening at the federal, regional, state and community levels to reduce risk in the region.

Coffee Break webinars are open to anyone in the hazard mitigation, resiliency, or risk reduction planning fields. This work can be in the public or private sectors. Community planners, emergency and floodplain managers, GIS technicians, government officials and contractors can attend. Upcoming Coffee Break Webinars:

  • September 20, 2023: Providing Clarity on the New Hazard Mitigation Planning Guidance
  • November 8, 2023: Conducting a Risk Assessment

Learn more and register to attend at the FEMA Region 3 Coffee Break Eventbrite.

*Webinar topics, dates and descriptions are subject to change.

Eastern Shore Long-Term Recovery Committee Builds Resilience to Tidal Flooding

In October 2021, weather patterns across the Mid-Atlantic led to one of the worst tidal flood events in decades. In Maryland, the worst flooding occurred along the Chesapeake Bay. Homes and businesses flooded, and coastal roads were under water. In Somerset and Dorchester counties, some areas saw higher floodwaters than during Superstorm Sandy. Because the event was undeclared, there was little media attention or support to help communities recover.

Image of a recently completed new elevated home in Crisfield, MD.

Source: Maryland VOAD

Over 100 homeowners requested help from the Maryland Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (MD VOAD) after the storm. In response, Maryland VOAD helped form the Eastern Shore Long-Term Recovery Committee (ESLTRC). A long-term recovery committee is a collaborative effort of representatives from faith-based, non-profit, government, business and other organizations. In the past two years, the ESLRTC has repaired 16 homes and built six brand new homes. Four new homes are under construction or in design.

This summer, the ESLTRC launched an ambitious effort to elevate and repair an additional 100 homes in the next few years. The committee created a “Blue Ribbon Mitigation Task Force” with a goal of raising $5.5 million for these projects. Organizations serving on the task force include Maryland Department of Emergency Management (MDEM), FEMA Region 3, Team Rubicon, The Nature Conservancy, University of Maryland Environmental Finance Center, Somerset County Commissioners, Dorchester County Council and the City of Crisfield. Speaking on the importance of mitigation, MD VOAD’s Chair noted how homes elevated after Hurricane Sandy did not see any damage or water intrusion during the 2021 tidal flood event. As climate change leads to more severe and frequent coastal flooding, MD VOAD is focused on helping communities build back better and become more resilient.

Learn more about this effort and other long-term recovery committees in Maryland here.

Virginia Works to Expand Equity with New Hazard Mitigation Plan

Coworkers working together around a table.

Source: Getty Images

The Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) and FEMA Region 3 recently approved the Commonwealth of Virginia’s 2023 Hazard Mitigation Plan (HMP). As states across the region and country work to bring resources to disadvantaged communities most impacted by disasters, Virginia’s updated HMP includes a goal to evaluate the potential impacts of all hazards to vulnerable populations across the Commonwealth.

To support this goal, VDEM incorporated data from FEMA’s National Risk Index (NRI) in the updated plan. The NRI is a dataset and online tool to help illustrate which communities in the United States are most vulnerable to 18 natural hazards. VDEM used the tool in addition to their own vulnerability study to perform equity assessments early in the hazard mitigation planning process. These early assessments allowed VDEM to identify and include mitigation actions and long-term strategies that will directly support and protect vulnerable communities and expand on whole community awareness of potential hazards, their risk and access to mitigation funding.

Noted in the plan is the Commonwealth’s action to conduct outreach to socially vulnerable populations who repeatedly flood, address their specific risks, encourage participation in the National Flood Insurance Program and work with them to develop their own HMPs.

The work to expand equity throughout mitigation programs at both the state and federal level is ongoing. The Commonwealth’s updated plan positions the state to ensure the most vulnerable populations have the support and funding needed to protect against loss of life and property.

For more information, reach out to Debbie Messmer, Virginia State Hazard Mitigation Officer.

Community Pop-Up Events in Washington, DC Promote Preparedness and Resilience

Set Up at Operation District Drill Down

Source: HSEMA

The D.C. Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency (HSEMA) is hosting community pop-up events to promote emergency preparedness and resilience in the district. These pop-ups are an opportunity for the public to connect with local government agencies and community partners. Attendees get the chance to learn more about HSEMA’s work, and how the public plays a role in emergency preparedness and resilience efforts.

June's events included support for D.C. public schools, community service, a Juneteenth celebration and more:

  • Rosemary McDonnell, HSEMA's Senior Disability, Access, and Functional Needs Program Manager, presented at the 4B Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) Regular Public Meeting.
  • HSEMA's outreach team took part in Operation District Drilldown. This was a service project that supported public schools like Kramer Middle School and Anacostia High School.
  • Operation District Drilldown volunteers helped with projects to benefit residents of Ward 7 and Ward 8.
  • Team members partnered with Serve DC for the 2023 Juneteenth Celebration "Know What's Happening In Your Neighborhood" at the Faunteroy Community Enrichment Center.
  • Team members partnered with DC Fire and EMS for Emergency Preparedness and Safety Awareness in Flooded Neighborhoods.
  • Team members attended the DMPSJ/EOM Community Resource Pop-Up Fair Event at the kickoff for 202ForPeace Walks.

HSEMA’s community pop-up events are free and open to the public. Visit HSEMA on Twitter and Facebook to read more about the events and see where they’re popping up next!

Delaware Climate Action Plan Showcased at Delaware Risk Reduction Consultation

Delaware Climate Action Plan

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) highlighted the state’s Climate Action Plan (CAP) at Delaware’s 2023 Risk Reduction Consultation (RRC). The RRC is an annual event that brings together federal, state and local partners to discuss risk reduction goals and priorities and identify areas of collaboration to equitably advance mitigation actions.

The state created the CAP to expand resilience to climate change. It also aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Released in November 2021, the CAP is the result of a year-long process involving residents, businesses, technical experts, and several state agencies. Themes outlined in the CAP include managing facilities, funding, regulations, and outreach. The plan stresses that community and stakeholder support are key in implementing climate actions. Several strategies supporting the CAP are being folded into the update of the state’s Hazard Mitigation Plan in 2023. The CAP is also a living document. The state will update it every five years as knowledge of climate impacts grows. The next full update of the CAP will take place in 2025.

Read Delaware’s Climate Action plan here.

Spotlight: Jeff Jumper, Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA)

Jeff Jumper Headshot

In this issue of the Resilience Report, we connected with Jeff Jumper, Resiliency Program Manager at PEMA.

What is your background?

I have been with PEMA for about eight years. I joined the agency in 2015 as the first State Meteorologist. In this position, I analyzed weather patterns to support emergency management across the state. In addition to my work with PEMA, I am also a volunteer firefighter and EMT, and I teach courses in Emergency Management at Millersville University of Pennsylvania and Thomas Jefferson University.

How has your previous experience as a meteorologist informed your current work as Resiliency Program Manager?                                                

A lot of my work as a meteorologist aligned with the preparedness element of resiliency. I conducted research in my previous role on the impacts of climate change on intensifying weather events, which has helped to inform my current function. When I entered this role as Emergency Management Program Manager, PEMA did not yet have an established Resiliency Program. So, I have been drawing on my experience with the agency to develop a foundation for this program.

Creating a statewide program from the ground up is no small feat. What resources have you been engaging to accomplish this?

Toward this effort, I engage with state and community officials to learn best practices for increasing resilience while also considering the needs of residents and businesses. One network that has supported this coordination is the GreenGov Council. The Council – co-chaired by the Secretaries of the departments of General Services, Environmental Protection, and Conservation and Natural Resources – fosters information and knowledge sharing between entities in Pennsylvania with the goal of incorporating environmentally sustainable practices into governing functions.

Learn more about PEMA and increasing resiliency in Pennsylvania.

Upcoming Events


8/3/2023: FL Floods: CRS Manual Hacks – Outreach Projects – Activity 330

8/8/2023: G2300 – Intermediate Emergency Operations Center Functions

8/8/2023: FL Floods – Fundamentals of Floodplain Management

8/10/2023: Post-Award Webinar for FY 2023 - NEHRP Multi-State and National Earthquake Assistance Grant Recipients 

8/23/2023: FEMA’s Grant Program Directorate Training - Title 2, Part 200 of the Code of Federal Regulations for Newcomers to Grants Management

8/30/2023: Continuous Improvement Technical Assistance Program Improvement Series: How to Write Solid Observations for AARs

9/7/2023: FL Floods - CRS Manual Hacks – Flood Response Preparation – Activity 330

9/8/2023: FL Floods - ABCs of Coastal Construction

9/13/2023: FL Floods - Updates in Floodplain Management

9/20/2023: FEMA Region 3 Coffee Break – Demystifying the New Hazard Mitigation Planning Guidance

9/21/2023: Semi-Annual National Call - FY 2023 NEHRP Grant Award Recipients of the Individual State Earthquake Assistance Program and Multi-State and National Earthquake Assistance Program

9/21/2023: FL Floods – No Adverse Impact: Building Block #1 Hazard Identification & Flood Mapping

10/5/2023: FL Floods – CRS Manual Hacks – Program for Public Information – Activity 330

10/16/2023-10/19/2023: FEMA Hazard Mitigation Partners Workshop

10/19/2023: Procurement Under Grants Training: Mitigation Grants

10/19/2023: FL Floods – No Adverse Impact: Building Block #7 Emergency Services

10/31/2023-11/1/2023: FL Floods – Fundamentals of Floodplain Management



8/17/2023: Tribal Consultation on FEMA's 2017 Tribal Declarations Guidance, Tulsa, OK

8/28/2023-8/31/2023: FEMA EMI: E0273 – Managing Floodplain Development Through the NFIP, Emmitsburg, MD

9/05/2023-9/07/2023: National Institute of Building Sciences – Building Innovation 2023 Conference, Washington, DC

9/05/2023-9/08/2023: 2023 Floodplain Management Association Annual Conference, Los Angeles, CA

9/6/2023-9/7/2023: PEMA Training – G235: Emergency Planning, East Stroudsburg, PA

9/23/2023-9/24/2023: PEMA Training – G235: Emergency Planning, Carlisle, PA

9/25/2023: FEMA EMI: E0312 - Fundamentals of Building Science: Multihazard Mitigation Design Concepts, Emmitsburg, Maryland

9/26/2023 - 9/27/2023: Pennsylvania Association of State Floodplain Managers Annual Conference, State College, PA

10/15/2023-10/17/2023: Keystone Emergency Management Association Annual Conference, Altoona, PA