Building Cultures of Preparedness
Increasingly, disaster professionals of all types are becoming aware that the work they do can be enhanced by an understanding of the culture of the communities they operate in and the people they’re there to help. That concept is applied to preparedness in this Federal Emergency Management Agency guide that outlines the cultural considerations of helping people prepare for disasters. Chief among its suggestions is employing “culture brokers”—specially trained actors who have the knowledge and trust of local communities. The report discusses how to identify such people and offers best practice case studies of successful efforts.

Including Aging and Disability Networks in Emergency Planning
This capacity building toolkit addresses the needs of older adults and those with disability in planning for and responding to emergencies. Suitable for communities with ongoing programs and those just beginning to plan, these tools offer solutions for creating assessments, communication and messaging, evacuation and transport needs, shelters, public health crises and legal advocacy. Key data sets, mapping resources, and strategies are included.

Moral Hazards, Wildfire, and the Economic Incidence of Natural Disasters
This working paper from the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research examines the degree in which federal firefighting costs essentially subsidize building in areas at high risk of wildfires. Using administrative and actuarial data, the authors calculate the expected cost of protecting homes built in risky areas and consider how such expenditures shape local development choices and private investment in risk reduction.

National Inventory of Dams
Once limited in access, select information in the National Inventory of Dams has now been opened up for easy public download of data. The inventory includes vital information on hazard potential the tens of thousands of dams and levees in the United States, as reported by state and federal regulators. Dam information can be search by dam name or location to provide a summary for dams in the area and mapping information or the hazard risk, inspection information, and logistics of specific dams.

Saving Lives after a Nuclear Detonation
The decisions made in the first hours following a nuclear detonation will determine the chances of survival for those affected, and as Brooke Buddemeier notes in this Federal Emergency Management Agency Prep Talk, “Those decisions aren’t going to be coming from Washington, D.C.” This segment of FEMA’s popular series that taps experts for knowledge building provides information and resources for what local emergency managers can do to prepare.

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