Baltimore's Disaster Preparedness and Planning Project (DP3)

The City of Baltimore Maryland’s Disaster Preparedness and Planning Project (DP3) was created by the Department of Planning as an effort to address existing hazards while simultaneously preparing for predicted hazards due to climate change. This project develops a program that integrates an All Hazards Mitigation Plan (AHMP), floodplain mapping, and climate adaptation planning. DP3 links research, outreach, and actions to create a comprehensive and new risk-preparedness system for addressing existing and future impacts.

The project included the creation of a 42-member DP3 Advisory Committee and working groups consisting of representatives from environmental, non-profit, labor, business, community, and developer groups as well as local, state, and federal government. The charge to the committee was to develop recommendations to the Mayor on a set of goals, strategies, and actions the City of Baltimore should implement to reduce risk and increase resiliency. The entire Committee met four times and six times as subcommittees throughout the process.

The DP3 Plan seeks to help achieve equitable economic and environmental growth.

The DP3 Plan’s vulnerability assessment includes a Community Asset Inventory which considers both physical structures and social environment. The latter includes all of the people and activities which shape everyday life, with a particular focus on highly vulnerable populations, historic and cultural resources, economic elements, natural resources and recreation areas, and other important services. The DP3 also incorporates a Health Impact Assessment focused on Baltimore’s urban forest, which was informed by a community stakeholder group representing frontline communities.

The DP3 offers several specific strategies to increase equity in Baltimore, such as:

  • Prioritize retrofitting and increasing resiliency of Public Housing units in the designated Flood Area and other high risk areas
  • Prior to a hazard event, identify lead contacts serving vulnerable populations and coordinate actions to maximize safety and information sharing
  • Given increasing premiums, identify programs and grants that assist citizens in purchasing flood insurance and making flood proofing changes

 

The recommendations made by the Advisory Committee are divided into four sectors: Infrastructure, Buildings, Natural Systems, and Public Services. Committee members considered strategies such as new building code regulations to offset sea level rise or planting more trees to help manage stormwater runoff and reduce the urban heat island effect. All strategies and actions are included in Chapter 5 of the DP3 Plan. 

The following process was utilized throughout the AHMP development:

(1) Identify and profile existing hazards.

(2) Conduct an inventory that identifies all assets such as hospitals, schools, etc.

(3) Utilize modeling to identify risk from existing hazards and predicted climate impacts.

(4) Complete a vulnerability analysis of identified assets and critical facilities. Identify exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity.

(5) Identify actions and recommendations to deal with existing hazards and predicted impacts.

(6) Develop implementation plans for these actions, as well as recommendations for stakeholder involvement and funding strategies.

Baltimore adopted and released a Climate Action Plan (CAP) in January 2013 with the goal of achieving a target of a 15 percent emissions reduction by 2020. Chapter four of the CAP focuses on climate adaptation, and the CAP also considers the importance of assessing Baltimore’s response capacity. Similarly, as the CAP prioritizes the development of a Communications Plan, DP3 considers strategies and actions for establishing more robust and comprehensive methods for increasing awareness of climate change, climate adaptation, and natural hazards.

 

 

Publication Date: October 15, 2013

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  • City of Baltimore, Maryland

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