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Planning for Disasters

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No matter what type of disaster occurs, community leaders should be prepared to oversee and lead the recovery process. Having a comprehensive and up-to-date disaster plan is crucial for community resiliency and sustainability. The key components of every community's natural disaster preparedness plan should include:

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Disaster Planning 

Every community association needs a comprehensive emergency plan that is a detailed guide for association leaders and residents to work together to prepare, respond, and recover from any type of disaster. This detailed plan should be adopted by the association board and incorporated into the community's Continuity of Operations Plans. Community leaders can start disaster planning by addressing the five W's:

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Adopt and Share the Community Emergency Plan

A community association's emergency plan should be reviewed by experts (such as local police chief) and presented to and approved by the association's board. Once the plan is finalized, staff should implement timelines and responsibility charts and provide residents with information about the plan so they can act accordingly when necessary. We suggest conducting drills on a regular basis for practice. 

Mitigation

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Each year the number of natural disasters increases, yet only half of impacted communities qualify for federal assistance. Mitigation activity can help communities reduce infrastructure damage and minimize recovery time after a disaster. Communities seeking to reduce disaster impact should follow these three types of mitigation activity:

  • Identify hazards and assess vulnerabilities
  • Advance action to minimize damage to infrastructure 
  • Use and share Mitigation Best Practices 
>>Learn about disaster mitigation resources, including your state or regional mitigation plan, at www.fema.gov/hazard-mitigation-planning-contacts.

Planning Resources 
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