Disaster Resources

Subdivision Design and Flood Hazard Areas Guide

This new American Planning Association publication is a guide to best floodplain planning practices for subdivision design. Readers will find tools to end the build-damage-rebuild cycle, save lives, protect property and lay the foundation for a better, drier future.  Read the Full Report.


Watch out for charity scammers collecting donations for victims of Hurricane Matthew

Hurricane Matthew is making headlines, as many Americans prepare for the heavy winds and flooding that could potentially come with the storm.  When these storms roll in, it’s common for people to set up crowdfunding sites to help those in need. While many of these sites are legitimate, it’s important to remember that they aren’t typically vetted by reputable authorities, so they can be set up by anyone — including those who want to scam you. (We saw this type of thing happen after several other natural disasters, including Hurricane Katrina.)  “After every natural disaster, people become so generous and want to help,” H. Art Taylor, president and CEO of Better Business Bureau (BBB) Wise Giving Alliance, said in an email.  If you’re considering donating to help those who felt the effects of Hurricane Matthew, the BBB encourages you to be smart and thoughtful about how you give and offers several ways to do so. For example, if you’re giving funds online, make sure you’re careful about the links you click and where you enter personal information.  http://www.marketwatch.com/story/watch-out-for-charity-scams-for-hurricane-matthew-victims-2016-10-07

 National Disaster Recovery Framework
The National Disaster Recovery Framework is a guide that enables effective recovery support to disaster-impacted States, Tribes, Territorial and local jurisdictions. It provides a flexible structure that enables disaster recovery managers to operate in a unified and collaborative manner. It also focuses on how best to restore, redevelop and revitalize the health, social, economic, natural and environmental fabric of the community and build a more resilient Nation.   The 
National Disaster Recovery Framework is consistent with the vision set forth in the Presidential Policy Directive (PPD)-8, National Preparedness, which directs FEMA to work with interagency partners to publish a recovery framework. It is the first framework published under the Presidential Policy Directive reflecting the core recovery capabilities by supporting operational plans as an integral element of a National Preparedness System. It is a first step toward the PPD-8 objective to achieve a shared understanding and a common, integrated perspective across all mission areas—Prevention, Protection, Mitigation, Response, and Recovery—in order to achieve unity of effort and make the most effective use of the Nation’s limited resources.  https://www.fema.gov/national-disaster-recovery-framework

Marine debris from Hurricane Matthew

Those of your dealing with marine debris impacts will be interested in these resources:  Shoreline imagery: NOAA’s Remote Sensing Division is collecting high resolution post-Matthew imagery for all impacted coastlines. That imagery can be found here: http://storms.ngs.noaa.gov/storms/matthew/#  Debris response guide:  The North Carolina Incident Waterway Debris Response Guide can be accessed on the NOAA Marine Debris Program website.  The guide includes information on addressing waterway debris impacts including roles and authorities, jurisdictional maps, contact information, a response flowchart, and permitting and compliance requirements.   

And this from NLCM regarding hurricane recovery
In the days, weeks and months that are ahead I wanted to share some important information with you as you begin to transition your attention to helping your municipality, citizens and business recover from the storm.  We want to remind you to continue to stay in contact with your county’s emergency management coordinator and also the staff of State Department of Emergency Management with regards to important information that you will need.

Also, as a reminder, the League has developed the ReadyNCLocal.org  website devoted to helping municipalities in North Carolina prepare for and recover from disasters of any kind. It is our hope that it will be your “one-stop shop” for information both before and after an emergency occurs for disaster preparedness and recovery information.

Mutual Aid

Mutual aid is a critical resource multiplier for those responding to emergencies and disasters in North Carolina. It is not physically or financially possible for each jurisdiction to own, maintain and staff all of the resources that might be needed to respond to significant events. As a result of North Carolina’s experience with a variety of disasters, the State of North Carolina has developed a statewide mutual aid program for cities and counties.  How do you use the mutual aid system when you need it? There are two options to use the mutual aid system: 1) Call directly to neighboring participating jurisdictions and request assistance. It is advised that you initiate conversation and pre-event planning with your neighboring jurisdictions prior to any emergency need for mutual aid response. 2) Call the Division of Emergency Management’s 24 Hour Operations Center at 800-858-0368.  There may be associated expenses including costs to: pay salaries of those responding to the event, operate response equipment, replace resources needed before the next deployment, and repair any equipment damaged during the response. The requesting and responding jurisdictions are responsible for addressing associated response resource costs for events that do not qualify for federal disaster assistance under the Robert T. Stafford Act.

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Reimbursement and Assistance:

FEMA can provide funding and technical help to state and local governments and certain private, non-profit groups. This funding will help to fix or replace public properties such as roads, bridges, buildings and parks that have been damaged or destroyed.  Once the League is made aware any informational meetings and information about the FEMA application and reimbursement process we will let you know.  Remember to keep records of personnel and equipment used in the response and recovery from this storm to aid your reimbursement requests.   

Reminder about Emergency Purchases and FEMA Reimbursement:

State and federal regulations may require some form of competition in awarding a contract, even in disaster situations.  For example, federal public assistance funding made available to local governments under a presidential disaster declaration is subject to the requirements of the federal Grants Management Common Rule.  Local governments may use “pre-positioned” competitively bid contracts for goods and services that it anticipates needing during a disaster event, such as debris hauling and emergency supplies.  Having pre-positioned competitively bid contracts in place can not only expedite disaster recovery by having contractors ready to mobilize immediately after a disaster event, but also avoid potential FEMA reimbursement issues by satisfying state and federal competitive procurement requirements.

 The US Communities Governmental Purchasing Alliance (an endorsed program of NCLM) has suppliers who have competitively bid their products and services and meets the FEMA bid requirements to make obtaining necessary equipment, materials and services easier for your municipality in emergency situations.  Companies of special note are:  HERC equipment rental, HD Supply, Applied Industrial Supplies (water/wastewater facility pumps and supplies) and GraybaR (electrical equipment and supplies).   For a complete listing of suppliers, products and services visit http://www.uscommunities.org/solutions/hurricane-preparedness/?q=e-octhp16&utm_source=AdaptiveMailer&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=2016%20FL%20Oct%20Hurricane&org=494&lvl=1&ite=4356&lea=4330958&ctr=0&par=1&trk= . 

Your municipality must be registered to participate.  Just click on the “Register” button on the top right section of the webpage to register if your municipality is not a member.  Many of the products and services are available through the supplier’s stores located throughout NC.  Also, in many cases US Communities suppliers offer free same day or overnight shipping.

Debris Removal/Burning Guidelines:

Remember, state and federal law does not permit the use of public resources to clean debris on private property.  Citizens may bring debris to the public right of way to be collected by the local or state government.  State rules allow burning of vegetative debris from a natural disaster; the Division of Forest Resources in the Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services issues open burning permits. Construction materials and debris from homes or other buildings can include hazardous waste that should not be burned. (Federal rules may apply.) Dept. of Environmental Quality is responsible for working with local governments to quickly approve additional waste disposal sites if needed. Improper disposal of solid waste may jeopardize a local government’s ability to get FEMA reimbursement for debris collection and disposal.

Stream Clearing Guidelines:

Some stream-clearing activities can be done without permits, but activities that involve disturbance of the stream bank or bottom (by use of heavy equipment in the stream or excavation of sediment, for example) requires a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Debris removal/cleanup in Neuse and Tar Pamlico stream buffers -There are exemptions in the buffer rules for a number of cleanup activities, including removal of trees that threaten structures.  Contact the NCDEQ staff to ensure all necessary permits are obtained prior to beginning the project – http://deq.nc.gov/about/divisions/environmental-assistance-customer-service/deacs-office-locations

 More information will be forthcoming in the days and weeks ahead as the state and FEMA announces the dates and locations of the FEMA Public Assistance Kickoff Meetings and we will share this information with you as we receive it.

ASLA Launches Guide to Resilient Design

A new online guide launched today by the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) explains how communities can better protect themselves from natural disasters through resilient landscape planning and design.  According to the guide, the goal of resilient landscape planning and design is to retrofit communities to recover more quickly from extreme events, now and in the future. In an era when disasters can cause traditional, built systems to fail, adaptive, multilayered systems can maintain their vital functions and are often the more cost-effective and practical solutions . . .

Resilient design involves working with nature—instead of in opposition to it. It provides value to communities . . . https://dirt.asla.org/2016/09/19/asla-launches-guide-to-resilient-design/

Resource for any historic buildings or districts that are affected in your community:

  1. A county by county assignment list for restoration specialists who can help with technical assistance for flooded or otherwise damaged buildings:  http://www.hpo.ncdcr.gov/NCHPOContactsByCounty.html.  Staff will not travel to places until emergency officials tell it is safe to do so.
  2. GIS mapping enterprise for historic resources in the state:    http://gis.ncdcr.gov/hpoweb/

 Other resources: 

  1. NC Flood Inundation Mapping and Alert Network (shows detail down to individual buildings, and flooding expected or occurring in areas)https://fiman.nc.gov/fiman/#
  2. Shoreline imagery: NOAA’s Remote Sensing Division is collecting high resolution post-Matthew imagery for all impacted coastlines. That imagery can be found here: http://storms.ngs.noaa.gov/storms/matthew/#
  3. Debris response guide:  The North Carolina Incident Waterway Debris Response Guide can be accessed on the NOAA Marine Debris Program website.  The guide includes information on addressing waterway debris impacts including roles and authorities, jurisdictional maps, contact information, a response flowchart, and permitting and compliance requirements.
  4. Link for FEMA Public Assistance Fact Sheet: https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1465341338231-1ae3d3ccc360573d965b70090ca01033/FactSheetPA2016.pdf
  5. Link for FEMA Public Assistance Appeal: https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1465341472105-871ed92419e67431799981f9ebcb8133/FactSheetPAAppeals2016.pdf
  6. Link for FEMA Debris Removal and Demolition: https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1465341797696-eb8fbc30635f27214bdc6d3c22ca252f/FactSheetDebrisRemoval2016.pdf
  7. Link for FEMA Debris Removal from Private Property: https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1465341702161-843b1b2c99bb28e058f6350f36919151/FactSheetDebrisRemovalPrivateProperty2016.pdf
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