Pre-event Checklist

Before Disaster Hits: Top Items a Local Government Needs in Place to Launch Effective Community Recovery

  1. Adoption of a comprehensive recovery ordinance (i.e., City of LA ordinance, mandated Florida local recovery plans) that links recovery/resilience efforts in the government, community, lifeline, business/private and non-profit sectors. Establishment of a recovery council that is integral to overall plan development to ensure equitable and active participation. This plan should reference the jurisdiction’s pre-disaster scenario, peer-reviewed loss estimates, General Plan Safety element and hazard mitigation plans.
  2. Post-disaster governance plan—legislative, executive and administrative contingency framework which includes specified procedures for convening the governing body in alternate circumstances and designated replacement officials to enable COG functions in the on-going recoveryperiod.
  3. Decision-making matrixfor governing body that integrates community process and partnership.
  4. Lifeline Council convened beforehand with chief executives of the jurisdiction and utility agencies regularly meeting to develop procedures on decision-making, restoration of service, and use/deployment of contingency systems. Agreed upon plan to ensure rapid restoration of essential community systems—power, and sanitary sewer particularly important; clean water system second.
  5. Housing strategies—shelter-in-place, emergency, short-term and interim housing (includes adoption of appropriate ordinances for altered land use, zoning and open space regulations; pre-qualification of installation contractors and sub-contractors.
  6. Pre-event MOU established with ICMAto send in rotating support teams of experienced executive and senior staff from other jurisdictions to “scaffold” existing staff and provide consultative, effective back-up.
  7. Development of coherent, unified community information and outreach initiativethat folds in capacity for interactive, culturally competent dialoguewith residents, other levels of government.
  8. Established relationship with senior state OES and FEMA (regional and HQ) staffto ensure responsive recovery operations.
  9. Fiscal and economic plans in place—initially for city/local government fiscal continuity—this includes relaxation of bidding requirements as needed for a capped period of time; increased fiscal authority for chief administrative officer for defined period and types of contract authority (capital project, services and supplies and equipment). The local controller develops a post-event strategy to address interim and long-term recovery with financial institutions, rating agencies, and governmental regulators.
  10. Adoption of pre-event repair and reconstruction ordinance; most recent iteration of the IBC with appropriate local amendments that address specific regional hazards, risk conditions. Having these in place gives community best eligibility opportunities for FEMA, state and federal agency assistance.
  11. Designate an internal liaison/negotiations teamto directly interact with state OES, FEMA and other federal agency representatives. This group needs substantive pre-event training on the state and federal response and recovery regulations as well as targeted negotiations training.
  12. Immediate establishment of a one-stop recovery shopthat is hub of governmental and non-profit support for the community. The function of this effort evolves over time but is operated to address changing needs, incorporating all community links—311, web access, CERT and NEN support systems.