Regional Resilience Toolkit: 5 Steps to Build Large Scale Resilience to Natural Disasters

Developed by EPA and FEMA in partnership with the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and Association of Bay Area Governments in California, this toolkit provides a stepwise process for individual communities or coalitions of communities across a region to engage in partnership-building, planning, and other activities to build regional resilience. The goal of the toolkit is to facilitate the integration of various local planning processes, including hazard mitigation, climate adaptation, sustainability, and equity, into one overarching action plan for resilience that can result in improved implementation, funding, and measurement efforts for multiple hazards.

The toolkit outlines five steps for building resilience:

  1. ENGAGE - this step focuses on identifying and building trust among key stakeholders and partners, developing an engagement and outreach plan and milestones, and offers tools for effective storytelling, meetings and workshops.
  2. ASSESS - provides guidance and tools for conducting a risk and vulnerability assessment.
  3. ACT - encourages communities to use assessment findings to develop strategies for addressing hazards, to prioritize the most impactful strategies with stakeholder input, and to develop short- and long-term implementation plans.
  4. FUND - focuses on developing funding and financing strategies, including: engaging funders; identifying other federal, state, or local grant opportunities; understanding financing strategies available; and making the business case for resilience projects.
  5. MEASURE - provides guidance on when, how, and why to use metrics to self-evaluate progress towards resilience goals.

The report highlights opportunities for each step to align with FEMA local hazard mitigation planning processes and other related planning efforts required under federal (and in some cases California state) law. It also identifies information, tools, and examples of effective strategies for engaging broad coalitions of stakeholders from planning through to implementation, and includes detailed appendices with additional resources and worksheets to assist communities with each step of the process.

The toolkit was developed following efforts in regional disaster resilience planning in the San Francisco Bay Area region of California. Resources and materials developed through the process in the Bay Area were then used to build this toolkit and tested in two "pilot" regions - the Central Coast Climate Collaborative (in California's central coast region) and the City of Mt. Shasta, California.


Publication Date: July 2019

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  • Planning guides

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