Disaster Recovery and Resiliency

Disaster Recovery and Resiliency

Every area and every business is vulnerable to disasters, whether natural events such as earthquakes, floods, and hurricanes, or man-made disasters such as terrorism, cyber threats, or chemical spills. Economic development programs and organizations often lead economic recovery efforts by helping local businesses impacted by the disaster. As noted by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC), “All too often, economic recovery becomes a piecemeal reaction, rather than a planner response…the key is to take steps ahead of time to ensure your organization can stay in touch with local businesses after any type of major incident and to set up a plan of action for disaster response and recovery.”

Phases of a Disaster

The National Governors’ Association designed a four-phase model to help emergency managers prepare for and respond to disasters. The model is useful to frame issues related to disaster preparedness as well as economic and business recovery after a disaster.

  1. Mitigation
  2. Preparedness
  3. Response
  4. Recovery

Disaster Declaration

The Sandy Recovery Improvement Act of 2013 (SRIA) amended the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, as amended, 42 U.S.C. §§ 5121 et seq. (Stafford Act), to provide federally recognized Tribal governments the option to request a Presidential emergency or major disaster declaration. Pursuing a declaration is extremely valuable to communities as it opens a number of federal assistance programs, resources, and funding to expedite response and recovery initiatives. Learn more about Tribal Declarations Pilot Guidance and the National Tribal Affairs Advisor at the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA).

Disaster Funding Resources

The Economic Development Administration (EDA) has a long history of successfully supporting disaster recovery and resiliency efforts. EDA's role in disaster recovery is to facilitate the timely and effective delivery of federal economic development assistance to support long-term community economic recovery planning and project implementation, redevelopment and resiliency. EDA publishes Disaster Supplemental Notices of Funding Opportunity, making funding available to eligible grantees serving communities affected by a Presidentially declared major disaster. More information on the disaster supplemental notices can be found on the EDA website and information about major disaster declarations can be found on the FEMA website.

Other Resources

  • RestoreYourEconomy.org – With support from the EDA, the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) has developed a website devoted to disaster preparedness and post-disaster economic recovery. The website’s purpose is to disseminate economic recovery information such as best practice knowledge, training resources, events, and news items to economic development practitioners.
  • Leadership in Times of Crisis: A Toolkit for Economic Recovery and Resiliency – The toolkit was developed to benefit a wide range of public and private sector officials working with businesses and industries on economic recovery. “Leadership in Times of Crisis” provides strategies and tactics for community leaders to focus on for economic recovery and job preservation, incorporating useful information for convening private and public stakeholders to identify key economic recovery strategies, tips on how to navigate federal resources for response and recovery, and implementation of recovery initiatives.