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Communities have many ways to guide future development to minimize hazard vulnerability – building codes, comprehensive plans, zoning regulations, etc., however, the degree to which different local plans and policies support one another in reducing risk often varies greatly.
In the recently published Evaluation of Networks of Plans and Vulnerability to Hazards and Climate Change, Berke et al. (2015) present their development of a resiliency scorecard which can be used to assess how well local plans are integrated and if they reduce, or perhaps inadvertently increase, long term physical and social vulnerability to hazards.
The article references a number of studies which indicate that hazard mitigation planning, centered on strong land use practices, is extraordinarily more effective in reducing the impacts of hazards than reactive emergency response.
This paradigm shift in emergency management has required that long term community planning play a critical role in the disaster resilient community, however, this requires that various municipal officials, such as those involved with public works, urban planning, emergency management, etc., are aware of how they can work together to ensure that their community’s plans, policies, and practices are well integrated to reduce disaster vulnerability. (more…)