Description of the video:
>> My name is Joe Lange and I am pleased to welcome you all to today's webinar. Which is hosted by the environmental resilience Institute here at Indiana University. Before we get started today, I would like to acknowledge that we are hosting this webinar from Indiana University in Bloomington.
A place that is built on indigenous homelands and resources. We express our gratitude to the Miami, Delaware, Pottawattamie, and Shawnee people as past, present and future caretakers of this land. The topic of today's webinar is how to address climate risks in your multi hazard mitigation plan. This is a topic that we've received a lot of requests to talk about.
So we're really excited to be able to share it with you today. For some logistics all webinar attendees will be muted, but you can unmute yourself at the end if you'd like to ask a question. You may also enter all of your questions in the chat function throughout the webinar, which you can see in the zoom window at the bottom by hovering your cursor over it.
We encourage you to put your questions into the chat and then we'll answer them at the end. We are recording today's webinar and we'll share a link to that recording along with some follow up resources and answers any questions we might not have time for. So you can share what you've learned with your colleagues, and we also encourage them to attend all future webinars.
And now I'm pleased to introduce today's moderator Janet McCabe, the director of IUS Environmental resilience Institute.
>> Thanks Joe, and hi everybody. We're so pleased that you're joining us today for this webinar. As you guys know, I think or you wouldn't be here. We're experiencing increased precipitation, extreme heat and other impacts of climate change in Indiana.
And so there's an increasing need to make plans that minimize the impacts of disasters to reduce loss of life and property in our state. These plans are called multi hazard mitigation plans. And I'll just confess to you when I first heard that term, it was both daunting and terrifying to hear something called a multi hazard mitigation plan.
They identify natural disaster risks and develop long term strategies, for protecting people and property from similar events. These plans are also required if a community wants to be able to receive funding from FEMA following a disaster declaration. So, they're super important. As these impacts of climate change, increase the frequency and severity of natural disasters in our state.
It's important to consider climate change in planned development. So we are so excited to have today, Mary Moran, who is the disaster recovery division director for the Indiana Department of Homeland Security. And Andrew Rumbach, an associate professor at Texas A&M and a faculty fellow at the hazards reduction and Recovery Center.
Examining the household and community risks and natural hazards and climate induced extreme weather events. And as we were just teeing up getting started today, we were hearing a little bit from Andy about how things are in Texas. Which is not good. The webinar series our webinar series is coordinated by IUS Environmental resilience Institute.
In addition to our webinar series ERI has many other resources available to local governments and the general public. One that I wanna make sure you all know about as the top one listed there the Hoosier Rresilience Index. Using the climate vulnerability tool in the index and the readiness assessment, which is included.
You can do an assessment yourself and determine how your Indiana community will be impacted by climate change. And how prepared you are for those risks. These are crucial first steps for creating a multi hazard mitigation plan. The other resources there we'd be happy to talk to you about and there's lots more information on our website about them.
We hope that you'll join us for next month's webinar, which will focus on how climate change is impacting food systems. And how local solutions can be built while protecting the most vulnerable populations in our communities. Food Security and local food is another very, very popular topic and people wanna hear about it a lot.
So we hope that you'll join, and encourage your friends and colleagues to join. I also wanna tell you about an exciting new project that we're embarking on called Beat the Heat. This spring, we are collaborating with the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs, which is known as OCRA.
To launch a two year program to help two Indiana local governments develop and implement heat relief strategies and response protocols. We've observed as we've talked with communities around the State that folks are focused a lot on on flood prevention and flood response. But there's less focus on extreme heat.
And we do know that Indiana is gonna get a lot hotter as the climate continues to change. So this is a really great opportunity to start developing some protocols and some materials to help communities all across the State, and we're gonna start with two. The Beat the Heat program will provide participants with funding to support a new full time staff member for two years and for costs associated with programme activities.
Applications are being accepted through March 26. And because this is an OCRA programme, only non entitlement communities are eligible. If you don't know whether you are because that's obviously jargon that comes out of some federal program, which rules our lives so much. You can reach out to us and we will ask you.
So there's a little link in the bottom of that slide. Andrew maybe we can also, is there a link we can provide to people in the chatroom for this? Okay, we'll get you something to the chatroom about this if you're interested. Another resource I wanna mention is the Sustainable Development Code website.
Which has numerous resources for local governments working on environmental issues. And if you say, ha, didn't she mention that last time? Yes, I did. I mentioned a lot because it is so comprehensive and so useful. One of the chapters in the Sustainable Development Code is focused on natural hazards.
For the sub chapters look at policies and ordinances that can be implemented to mitigate the impacts of specific natural disasters. And then the final sub chapter discusses how communities can approach hazard mitigation and planning overall. So I commend this website to you for this chapter particularly but also for the other ones.
I wanna thank our cohosts for this webinar series, longtime supporters, the Accelerate Indiana Municipalities. The Association of Indiana Counties, Health by Design, and the Indiana Public Health Association, we so appreciate their partnership. Thanks to everybody who's joining us today on the webinar. There, you can see a smattering of our attendees, lots more people who are attending.
And as I say, spread the word if you think that they might want to see a recording of this webinar which will be available a couple days later. We know that natural disasters and the hazards associated with them disproportionately impact communities with lower incomes. Communities of color, older residents and other vulnerable communities, they just do.
Due to financial and racial discrimination some of these vulnerable communities live in areas that are more susceptible to the hazards. And they're less financially capable of recovering resulting in increased impacts and damages and human suffering. For instance, as we just saw in Texas, communities of color and communities with lower incomes were more likely to be without power.
And lack of financial resources to get access to heating power and other necessities. Additionally, some of the funding structures for disaster recovery can be more difficult for vulnerable populations to access due to a variety of limitations. When planning for hazards, these vulnerable populations need to not just be included, but they need to be at the forefront of our thinking about planning.
So with that, I'm going to move to introduce our two speakers for today, we're so grateful that they're willing to share their time and expertise with us. As we usually do, I will introduce them both and I'll turn it over to Mary as the first speaker and she will just hand it right over to to Andy.
And as I let me remind you again, please feel free to put questions in the chat box and we'll address those at the end so let me start with Mary Moran. She is a graduate of IU, with a BS in Criminal Justice and an MS and Public Safety, she's the disaster recovery division director for the Indiana Department of Homeland Security.
She oversees the administration of both the federal and state disaster recovery programs, she spent 21 years in the emergency management field and as a certified emergency manager. She served as both the Department of Homeland Security mitigation branch director responsible for assisting counties with their local hazard mitigation planning activities.
As the state hazard mitigation officer responsible for the oversight of the creation submittal and approval of the Indiana State hazard mitigation plan. So there's it's hard to imagine somebody better suited for this topic then Mary. Andy Rumbach is an associate professor of landscape architecture and urban planning at Texas A&M University and a faculty fellow at the hazards reduction and Recovery Center.
His research examines the relationships between urbanization and environmental risk, with an emphasis on household and community risk to natural hazards and climate induced extreme weather events. He also manages the planning for hazards, land use solutions for Colorado, which is a guide and website to help communities build resilience through land use planning.
In addition, he leads a team that delivers community based trainings from the National Disaster Preparedness Centre on hazard mitigation, disaster recovery and resilience. And lest you think that he has no connection to Indiana, he certainly does, he grew up in Jasper, Indiana. So we're pleased to have him back to help us with this program, so with that, I'm going to turn it over to Mary.
>> Okay, I am getting ready to share my screen here, okay, did that work? Can you guys see my screen?
>> Yep, that looks good.
>> Okay, thank you very much for having me here, this is a great opportunity I am always passionate about talking about both climate and mitigation planning.
So I very much appreciate this opportunity and I'll go ahead and get started, well, maybe I will. Okay, all right, so why is it important for us to address climate change excessively when it comes to mitigation planning? Well as a multiple local or recent research has shown the trends are showing patterns were typically for Indiana, Indiana is going to run between five and six degrees.
We're going to have more precipitation will fall in more extreme and costly events. We are going to have more heat related illnesses which are going to lead to cascading events such power generation issues reduce crop yield and insect Brazil resilience. We're going to have rain falling in heavier downpours with increased fatalities due to reading in areas where folks are not prepared or under insured for those risks.
We're going to see more population at risk, which again is going to cause more infrastructure to be at risk. We're gonna see more stress, particularly in the extreme heat events, we're going to see more stress on aging systems. And because of all of these catastrophic events occurring simultaneously, there is going to be less available recovery funding, available right away for local municipalities.
Another reason is we know that in the disaster response and recovery business, the top three costliest us disasters have occurred in the last 10 years. We also know that last year globally by $210 billion were spent on disaster response and recovery and we know ups. We know that these costliest disasters are severely or very heavily impacted by a changing climate environment.
Here, you'll see that just disasters that Indiana, the presidentially declared disasters on weight, we've had many that haven't been declared in 1998 and 2018. You'll see that every single County in the state of Indiana has received a disaster declaration for one kind or another. You'll also see that every single one of these events are related to a weather event, the only addition to this is the 2019 declaration for the COVID virus.
So you can see how important it is to address climate in every county plan. We have shown that mitigation planning activities are very cost beneficial, the most important thing that they do is they have been proven to save lives and potter property. The National Building Science reports that for every $1 spent in mitigation, we are better benefit is saved and future disaster response and recovery costs.
We have a building code work that can be very inexpensive for the dollar saved in future recovery efforts and codes are a huge issue right now down in Texas and with the issue associated with weatherizing infrastructure. Building climate resilience as what we have found strengthens life quality, safety and longevity of a community.
We believe more people are going to want to recreate outside so we believe preparing for climate resilience, an example for flash flood events will just again increase the vitality of your local communities. Again, as Janet mentioned the disaster mitigation act 2000 requires a local mitigation plan to be approved by FEMA to receive post disaster recovery funding.
It also requires the state of Indiana to have a state hazard mitigation plan both these plans are good for five years at a stretch and so I'll dive into those just a little bit. How you develop a hazard mitigation plan at my level, here's a copy of the front up mitigation plan that I've included a reference for, just for your future reference.
If you want to look at that, you have to basically we look at it four steps that you'll need to consider. We'd ask you to organize your resources, assess your risk, develop your mitigation plan and then implement your plan and monitor its progress. For organizing your climate or your mitigation plan for climate resilience, you want to gather all your stakeholders have emergency services, public utilities, educational institution, advisory boards.
And here I'm going to shout out to one specifically to Indiana, we have what is called the Indiana silver jacket. It is a task force of federal state and local governmental entities, educational institutions, and subject matter asks Expert organizations that we formed after the 2008 floods to help reduce risk in Indiana.
You need to include subject matter experts,National Weather Service Folks, Geology Folks, folks from your we partner a lot with IU with the Polar Center with Center for Environmental Sciences. You also wanna have your public input. You can't leave them out, because it found in the disaster response or recovery world, that the public perception of risk is every bit as important as what a governmental jurisdiction believes is you wanna include local planning and zoning Commission's are gonna know the up and coming development and what communities have in mind.
Then you're gonna wanna tap into federal state, local and tribal partners, like my agency and a couple others. I'm gonna wanna assess your risk just like Janet Miss mentioned. You wanna review the current studies and plans and reports that already exists for your communities specifically or your emergency management plans.
Any emergency action plans you have for any high hazard dams located in your communities, playing maps, wind zone maps, earthquake zone maps. At the federal and state level, we use a tool called the hierarchy. It's a hazard identification and risk analysis tool created by FEMA. To help communities do risk analysis, and we at IBHS have the resources to help each one of the counties either who have not already gone through that process or are going through it right now.
We also encourage you to look do risk and locations specific hazard forecasting. Specifically with famous hazards talk, you can use that do several kinda modeling. Again, we work with IU and staffed over silver jacket in Indiana, create what is called a flood inundation mapping library, which has real time flood reports as flooding events are going on.
So that's another one that can be used in forecasting flood risk. Then you're gonna take all of that information and you're gonna sit down and you're gonna look at what resources you have, what are your priorities, threats which cause you the most, resources to respond every time. You're gonna go out, and your gonna try prioritize those by seeking public input .And working with all those subject matter experts on your planning team.
And prioritize your strategies and the goal is ultimately to reduce and avoid long-term vulnerabilities to both lives and property. And then you're gonna do a description on how your plan will be updated as a living document because a lot of the problem with mitigation plans is they are written to a basic standard and aren't become documents that sit on a shelf.
And I would argue that of any documents that you create in response and recovery or preparedness activity, your mitigation plan is one of the most important, because it is one that is gonna help you build the resiliency on long term. You are gonna implement your plan and you're gonna do support, you're gonna find support for your strategies.
You're gonna review the events after plans. And then you're gonna update after you do projects or you find issues. Here are just pictures of some of the things we have done in Indiana. To help build resilience we've done elevations safe room projects, low unsafe low head dam removal, utility hardening.
As just some examples. Now, here's where I become important to each one of you. Here is how my programs and my work with the federal government can support you. We have hazard mitigation grant program funding, that is tied to declared events, and a portion of it can be used for housing mitigation planning.
Flood mitigation assistance program, part of it's a very repetitive loss areas, and a portion of it can be used for flood mitigation planning. The bridge program is a new program that we've placed the pre disaster mitigation competitive program. It targets infrastructure resilience. We have increased funding limits and they increase the number of applications that we can submit.
So this year alone, we submitted for 15 counties to get funding to update their multi hazard mitigation plan. Luckily, in Indiana, we like I mentioned we've updated our plan in 2019 to include climate hazards, so that's a resource for you. Luckily all nine counties in Indiana I have been,or are in the progress being awarded federal funding to assist in the creation and update of your local mitigation plan.
So you can reach out to me for any questions with that. I'm in all of those 92 counties local family teams have already been or are being established. Pushed through these grant awards to do mitigation planning and coordination with management agencies. And then these planning grants grants now require both the federal and the state level to consider climate hazards and strategy.
These are just a few of the resources you can look for and you'll have a copy of this presentation. I've included my contact information, if you have questions or want to reach out about any of those resources. And that is all I have and I will hand it over to Andy.
And let me unshare my screen here. Okay, there we go.
>> Thank you, Mary. So thanks, Mary. I thought that great introduction to hazard mitigation plans ,and the importance of them and so,as I said during the introduction, I'm a professor of urban planning, although really all I focus on is emergency management planning, hazard mitigation planning, and long term recovery planning.
And I do teach from Texas for a long time I was at the University of Colorado, but I'm also a native born Hoosier, son of Southern Indiana. And so I'm really excited to talk to you all today and you Make some connections here in Indiana. I'm gonna talk a little bit sorta expand on what Mary was talking about.
And really reflect on some communities that have done really interesting things with their hazard mitigation plans, by incorporating climate into hazard mitigation planning processes, and so first I just wanna talk about mitigation plans. As what I consider to be a really untapped resource for many local governments, mitigation plans have, just in the last 20 years since the passage of the hazard mitigation act, have become the most ubiquitous special purpose plan in the United States, which is pretty amazing.
Something like 38,000 jurisdictions in the US have an approved hazard mitigation plan. And as Mary talked about, there's, this planning process that unfolds that provides a lot of really crucial information to local governments. Not just for the purposes of creating a mitigation strategy, but also for other kinda planning that local government does.
And so they're really a fantastic opportunity to connect the hazards community, emergency management community, to the other parts of local government that may not be in contact with them on that regular basis, especially outside of disaster times. But and this is the but, hazard mitigation plans as we know them right now are there's a lot of drawbacks to them.
And some of those are for good reasons that the we're working to address at a federal policy level But what do we see when we look at a lot of hazard mitigation plans? They tend to be in many cases developed in silos, where you have one office or one agency developing them with very little participation outside of that agency.
Maybe a little bit of routine participation but not a lot of input from other parts of government. We see a lot of plans that are honestly developed to meet the minimum FEMA standards in order to qualify for those post disaster funds. And they're sort of checking the box of having their mitigation plan done.
But they don't necessarily do a lot to reducing climate risk. We see a lot of very narrow mitigation strategies that really focus a lot on infrastructure and capital improvements, again from good reasons. But the BRIC program is looking to address some of those challenges for other kinds of projects.
And then finally, a lot of mitigation plans are yet to address future climate risks. Their risk analysis looks backwards at previous hazards and disasters and uses that as a benchmark for thinking about the future. But we know In an era of climate changing, that that hazards are gonna look different.
And so all of these are drawbacks in mitigation plans that I think are that opportunity that local governments can really benefit. By thinking about their hazard mitigation plan as a crucial plan alongside other plans like their comprehensive plan that can really help in the long run, save lives and save money.
And improve tax revenues and all the other things that local governments care about. The mitigation plan can help them to accomplish those things. So in my time, I'm gonna talk about four, I could talk about this all day long, by the way. But I chose four kind of key messages to talk about, each one with an example attached to it.
So I think there's four ways that I think about addressing climate risk, inner hazard mitigation plans. To broaden our conversation. To make climate change foundational to the risk analysis. To think a lot about nonstructural mitigation, and especially collaboration and coalition building. And then finally, using mitigation plans as a way to think about the long view.
And so I'm gonna talk about each one of those in turn. I'm what they call a prac Adamic, which means I have the privilege of working in a field where we're a professional field. So, yes, part of my research is funded by the National Science Foundation and I do peer reviewed published research.
But a lot of what I get paid to do is interact and work with local governments. And so I've worked with hundreds of local governments over the years. But many of them are in Colorado, where I was based and that's the mission of the university there. So all of my examples today are from Colorado, but I'm also gonna say that Colorado is a lot like Indiana in a lot of ways.
There's one large metropolitan area which is Denver, and then there's a lot of state around it that's primarily rural. A lot of small towns, medium sized towns, a lot of agriculture, I think there's a lot to carry in common with Indiana. And so I think many of these lessons I'm gonna talk about would carry over quite well to different parts of Indiana.
Okay, so the first thing is talking about the hazard mitigation plan. We need to broaden the conversation out with hazard mitigation beyond the mitigation plan itself. And especially beyond our kind of narrow focus that we've had for a long time in emergency management, where oftentimes mitigation meant infrastructure projects.
And so this is just a quick slide that as a planner, I think about what are all the different ways that Local governments shape development? And a lot of what we're talking about, when we're talking about reducing long-term risk and financial losses to disasters, s about how we choose to use our land.
What we tend to conserve? What we allow to be built where? What activities are allowed where? And so we have all of these different ways that we control development, whether it's through big plans like comprehensive plans. Through regulations like zoning or Historic Preservation ordinances. And then also through incentive programs that we use to incentivize people to make decisions.
So all of those different tools that local governments use to shape development, the hazard mitigation plan can inform all of them, and most often does not. And that's a really a missed opportunity. And so the lesson here is that by broadening the mitigation conversation within the hazard mitigation planning process.
By really including and not just a quick check in or a quick stakeholder meeting. But really from a foundational level, doing the hazard mitigation planning process with people who are involved in local government in other ways. Whether that's the planning staff, whether that's the elected official, whether that's the Public Works director.
Folks who we might not traditionally think of as being part of the hazard mitigation planning process. That can go a long way to then centering the hazard mitigation plan among our other community plans as the key source of information about future hazard risk. A really great example of this, is the town of Manitou Springs, Colorado, which is a small town of about 5,000 people.
In 2017, they actually did a combined comprehensive plan and hazard mitigation plan update. I don't think a lot of communities are necessarily gonna do this, but it's a really great example of how literally side by side, they develop their comp plan and their hazard mitigation plan. And so because of that, and because of all the great interaction between the stakeholders who are involved in a comprehensive plan.
When you read the mitigation plan, it reads much differently than many mitigation plans. It talks a lot more about local government and how it operates on a day to day basis and the kind of information that elected officials need to make choices and decisions. And that therefore has led to a lot of more interesting mitigation projects that address future climate risks in the community.
Especially around things like increased chances of flooding and then in Colorado, increased wildfires is a big hazard of concern. So another lessons are making climate change foundational within the risk analysis. So as Mary talked about, every multi hazard mitigation plan tends to follow the same sort of recipe.
Cuz it's the FEMA recipe that will lead to an approved mitigation plan. And a big part of that is doing the risk analysis, where you walk through and you look at the different hazards that impact your jurisdiction. You look at the scientific evidence of those hazards, you look at the historical record.
You think about all the hazards and then you rank order them in terms of their potential impact on your on your jurisdiction. One of the ways to incorporate climate change is just to make climate change foundational within that hazards analysis. And so here on the right is an example.
This is from Larimer County, Colorado, which is a large, very rural, but with a lot of different kinds of hazards. And in their hazard mitigation plan, they just include in every single hazard description, they have a section on climate change impacts. They look at the best scientific evidence that's out there.
And they say when climate change is gonna have an effect on a hazard, how much we know about the effect it's gonna have and how much we're uncertain about. It's a very clear, and direct, and effective way of incorporating climate change that gets around some of the uncertainty the public often has about that term.
And gets down to the specifics of how it's gonna impact hazards. So the example here on the right is actually, this is for geological hazards. And they say it's not expected to have an impact on geological hazards, and then they move on. But in other parts floods, fires, they talk specifically about what we're expecting to see in the future due to those things.
How much floodplains are expected to increase within the jurisdiction for example, and by what year? But they also acknowledge where there's uncertainty, and they use this as way of educating the public about the uncertainty around future climate risk. Again, these are all linked within my presentation slides. But I think it's a very effective way of incorporating climate change that gets past some of the discussion about climate change.
And down to some of the brass tacks about its impact on individual hazards. The third lesson I was talking about was coalition building. And this is really about, we're sort of expanding the types of mitigation strategies that we're using in our communities to think beyond infrastructure projects. Yes, infrastructure projects continue to be very, very important for For hazard mitigation and for climate adaptation, and they also tend to in the past be the easiest to work out within FEMA is benefit cost analysis system which is necessary to have a mitigation action but you're starting to see a lot more examples of where.
Non-structural mitigation is becoming a really important part of mitigation plans. And in my view, that also is a terrific way of incorporating climate change, because a lot of what climate change in my view is about the uncertainty of the future. We don't know necessarily how. Different aspects of climate change are gonna play out.
There's a key uncertainty, especially as we get out into longer years. We know that the climate is changing. But just how much, and just how much is gonna affect local whether events for example, or local hazards is a really important question. A lot of research is now showing that in the face of uncertainty one of the strongest tools that we have are good network coalition's of people and voices who are able to respond to different events and help communities to be resilient.
We don't necessarily know what the events gonna be. By having those strong social structures in place that are ready to address events that were maybe unexpected communities tend to do better. They tend to recover faster after events, they tend to save money and they tend to make better decisions about long term risk and so on.
These networks and coalition's can very much be part of resilience or I'm sorry a hazard mitigation strategy and in many cases have been funded through hazard mitigation grant program dollars. This one on the right is one example from Colorado. This is the Colorado watershed coalition project. Which there's actually 12 of them in the state.
But this one on the right is an example from weld County, which is a very conservative, primarily agricultural community. But they have a coalition of different government as part of it, but really coming in as from the side or from the bottom government is not leading it. It's led by agricultural leaders.
It's led by farmworkers, that's led by the different groups of people who all have a stake in the health of the watershed. And how much water the watershed is providing for agriculture. Loss of water in Colorado is a big impact of climate change. It's gonna have a big impact on farming.
And so by forming these coalitions, they've not only been able to put together really great grant applications for example, they also have been very important and effective during post disaster periods. They knew what the problems were ahead of time, and then when disasters happens, these coalitions were already formed, they already were ready to go and they were much more effective at grabbing grant dollars than if those Coalition's had tried to form after the event.
And there's a quote on the bottom of my head is currently hiding but this is from one of the coalition members talking about the best time to organize these kinds of Coalition's is before disasters happen and that made us much more effective afterwards. So again, but these kinds of what we call networked resilience.
Building these Coalition's not only are they important but they can also be funded through mitigation grant dollars, and they can also be highly effective at addressing uncertain climate risk. And then lastly, I think that, again, I don't know if this is a way of incorporating climate change, but it's a reason to incorporate climate change and especially to help move hazard mitigation plans from what I see in many communities as the periphery.
They're very often developed. They're often there, but they're not many communities. They're not used nearly as much as they could be by local governments. I think taking the long view and hazard mitigation plans really does help to bring hazard mitigation plans closer to the center and make them a more routine tool of local government.
And so, mitigation plans are all about looking out into the future anticipating risk, whether it's from hazards we know about or whether it's future hazards that climate change is going to have an impact on. And so by taking the long view, hazard mitigation plans can help communities to also think in the long view and start to take actions now that will pay off in the future.
And so one example here, and I know a lot of you probably already have experience with these programs but, the city of Lyons, Colorado, or town of Lyons, Colorado, it's only about 1,100 people. They have now a 30 year programme of property acquisition and floodways and floodplains. This is an entirely voluntary programme.
It's funded locally and they've used it as a, it's a really interesting example of how, they've, once hazard mitigation plans became involved, they started using this in their hazard mitigation plan and helping to fund some of these property acquisitions through hazard mitigation grants. And the ultimate goal over a 50 or 100 year period is to get most of their all of their housing that's in the floodplain that's only going to get worse with climate change, and get that housing out of the floodplain and into a different part of town that they've identified that's safe from those hazards.
And not only does a town benefit cuz they have less loss from hazards, the homeowners benefit because they get a fair price for their homes that they would not get where they suffer a major flood event. And they also the city has gained a lot of park space now that they've started a program in different ways.
That is improved. Proved, visitor numbers but also local tax revenue. And so it's a win all around the community. And the hazard mitigation plan is really where this gets organized and where a lot of the data and information that they need. To argue for these different property acquisitions happens.
It's a complicated program, but it's a very even a small town like Lyons with the assistance of their County and the state hazard mitigation program has been able to organize and effectively purchase now something like 40 properties over the last 30 years. And they have 20 or 25 more to go.
But it's a really a great example of not only reducing loss but also being more resilient to future climate risks. Okay, so my last slide I wanted to give a shout out to a project that I've been working on for for seven years now. And this is called the planning for hazards land use solutions for Colorado guide, this is, it is for Colorado but it's really broadly relevant to every state.
This is something that we've put, close to $700,000 of development money into through the years. This is a free website and open source website that has different land use planning tools that local governments use every day, how they can address hazard and climate risk. And then a lot of them also have attached to the model code language that local governments can use to incorporate these kind of tools into their local government planning.
They're not just regulatory, they're also incentive based. It really again Is designed to speak to a lot of different types of local governments with very different political situations on the ground and help local communities pf all types be effective at reducing disaster risk, this is a free resource it's there we've got an entire planning process with sample, all the example agendas and all the example outcomes that you can take and use and change whatever way you want.
It's all open source. It's a great resource and I encourage anyone in local government to take a look. I think that you can save a lot of time and money by taking what we've already done and building from there. Thanks again for having me today. Here's my email always happy to talk hazards and disasters.
And I'm going to stop sharing my screen.
>> All right, well thank you so much to both of our speakers. I wanna note before we start the Q and A session that we do have some members from the Indianapolis Planning Department who have helped to incorporate climate and their hazard mitigation plan.
So if you have any questions that are specific to them as well, you can feel free to ask those as well and they will answer them to the best of their ability as well. So one of the questions that we got in the chat, I think it'd be applicable to either view but it says, are you using First Street Foundation's flood factor website to help evaluate flood risk?
In on what we use at the state. Actually, we use the DNR portal and when I was talking about the partnership, we had formed for mitigation planning the Indiana silver jacket team. We partner with the Army Corps of Engineers creating flood inundation mapping library that is a real time tool.
We use we also use FEMA maps. That's what we use at the state and that's what we encourage the contractors we work with in the local work with. We direct them, start here anyway.
>> Thank you, but I think that this might be for you as well, Mary, but the question is, is any county in Indiana and their hazard mitigation plans taking climate change into account and potentially specifically is Hamilton County?
>> I can't speak specifically to Hamilton County, it's it's that's the only two county details that I can bring in front of me. But all of what we encourage the folks that we work with through the Emergency Management Agency is yes. On your planning team, you definitely need to start having the conversations and gathering the subject matter experts on climate and the cascading issues from it.
>> Thank you. And I guess, we can go to Annie for this, but Mary, feel free to jump in as well. We did have a question, how is equity being integrated into some of these hazard mitigation plans? And if you have any examples, we'll be able to talk about some of those or just in general, if there aren't any specific examples.
>> Sure, it depends on the place. I mean, I think the the risk analysis, that's used in hazard mitigation planning does talk about vulnerability and does think about, for each community it talks about vulnerability in some some general ways. There's a lot of room for progress though in that case, there's opportunities in the mitigation plan to address equity though.
One is in how the risk analysis is done, and how that information then gets translated into mitigation strategies. Another place is really when doing your capability analysis to really pay attention to issues of equity and which communities may need additional resource which, don't just think about capabilities as government capability but also capabilities of folks within the jurisdiction to engage in the process or to advocate for hazards that are affecting them.
There's also, in the mitigation strategy itself, there's benefit cost analysis that has to happen. But there's also a prioritization process that can happen or needs to happen in terms of pushing certain projects up to the top of the pile. And so I've seen some very specific examples where local governments have put equity focus projects at the top of the pile, because they saw that as one of their greatest weaknesses in terms of future hazards.
For example, Longmont, Colorado, recently funded a project that was essentially a community champions project. For the Spanish speaking community, which had been very disengaged from the planning process, and so instead of saying, we can't engage with those folks, instead, they say maybe we're engaging incorrectly and we're not engaging, our way of engagements not working.
And so they funded this community champions program, is called resilience for all is the program but it's been extremely effective at bringing new voices into the hazard mitigation and resiliency conversation, and many of those voices do represent folks who work in the nearby meatpacking agricultural other industries that are really important for thinking about things like supply chain vulnerability, but as up until that point had not really been involved.
And so that's, that's a program I would recommend.
>> And just from my perspective, again, I'm gonna mention that ability when it comes to response and recovery and equity has become very apparent in COVID. In the COVID response And so we are trying to, yeah, start the conversation like Andrew.
Andrew mentioned that and then the other thing that we do is we call the savvy tool and we use Is that because it has gone down, a path of starting looking at some of those social vulnerabilities, we don't think about all. But we definitely at the state are also increasing the conversation for future long term response and recovery actions to include equity as a major
>> Thanks, and Mary got another one for you in your in your experience here at att IDs.
All right DHS. Excuse me, can you say a few words on how the attention to climate hazards has evolved over the past several years? They're talking about how it seems it's emerged relatively recently as a high priority. So, if you can just give some insight on how that's changed and how that has also changed in the planning process.
>> Okay, well, Indiana for a while, in our work with the silver jackets in the Polo center in IU and Purdue. We start actually we were, we started to lean forward. Before climate change became a buzzword, and so we have been working on behind the scenes for quite some time.
However now, we seem to have much more executive level and high level decision making support on the idea and just because of the reason. Super storm Sandy see enough Katrina and Sandy and Harvey and now what we're seeing in Texas. And they are understanding that mitigation, long term mitigation planning is the way to do it because even if you can't mitigate every risk 100% right away.
You can bite it off in chunks and not have to be in a situation now where on Texas' of having to fix everything all at once and find all of those resources so it definitely has changed over time in Indiana. And we included it in the last hazard mitigation plan and would have been more in depth section here.
We had a little bit more time on that. But it will be in the next version of the plan. We will.
>> I think you get muted there.
>> Okay, Mike, I hope that answered questions but if not, I know how to reach out if you'd like more information from me.
>> This question is from Janet here. But do either of you, know of any examples of plans other than, Indianapolis which kinda in our case is just so much bigger than a lot of the other places but that have talked about either, climate change and or equity in their plans.
>> I can mention just a few that I've been I know recently and again, we've started having conversations with the planning world that we used to support the local plans forum. We just got like 17 counties awarded last year in like 19 counties awarded this year and we're in the process of rolling out those funds.
What we have done is require higher levels than the federal minimums, we are going to require that there be a robust climate resilient sector, and I believe FEMA Region five is going to start pushing for that as well. So, it has changed, thankfully.
>> And then I got this question in the chat.
This is for our Indianapolis partners. I believe so Matt, if you feel comfortable answering, but they were just kind of wondering so when Indianapolis was kind of going through its planning process, what were some of the things you were kind of thinking about in terms of climate hazards and kind of how did that work and like the implementation of the plan.
>> So, this man Moser with the Office of Sustainability I think one of the things that the multi hazard mitigation plan we used in terms of, We helped use the multi hazard mitigation plan to help feed our vulnerability assessment, which actually in turn helped inform our Climate plan which is driving the Annapolis and so I would just say for everybody on the call is that the way I kind of view it is the climate plan is kind of the overarching umbrella for everything and so on.
Are you doing the multi hazard mitigation plan is really one piece of that total plan. And I would just echo what Marian Andrew said is that I think you have to look at these plans as dynamic. It's not a once and done and you do have to Get a fairly lengthy timeline to actually do the multi-hazard mitigation plan.
I think we started 18 months ahead of schedule. So to go from start to finish, you should allow yourself plenty of time to do that, because it takes a while to get the stakeholders together and everybody together. So Within that you do have to consider social vulnerability but in our vulnerability assessment, we actually took what we started in the multi hazard mitigation plan and built out a much larger vulnerability assessment.
>> Thanks, Matt. And again, if anyone has any questions specifically for Indianapolis in their planning process, feel free to ask those as well. So question from Leslie talking about the Texas is read as a recent climate emergency they had twice the number of power plant outages than was planned in their worst case scenario.
What is Indiana currently doing to make sure that our energy infrastructure is resilient?
>> Well, I can assure you that over the last month this has been a huge topic on all of our regulatory commission. So and we've already started. Conversations on the on the regulatory side here to address and address some of those issues.
So it is we are starting to have that conversation Some issues, ie aging infrastructure in Indiana and however it is encouraging that in my world there is at least talk to start preparing or Go beyond what Indiana has already. So utilities across the state that have been through either presidentially declared disasters or local disasters not declared.
They have started to realize the importance of that. So those conversations are ongoing and activities have the gun.
>> Thank you. And I have a question here for Andrew. I know we've had a or you talked about the importance of, kind of collaborating with others. it can either be other groups or even other local governments and I I can see Michael Newton here on the call I know they have a a Debris Management Plan that goes with other towns and cities in their area.
So could you do you talk a little bit about what are some of the ways that you can work with other local governments around you to kind of try to make a kind of plan that is increasing its resilience for not just you but also for those surrounding communities.
>> Yeah, absolutely. And I think that a couple different ways, most hazard issues are not local. They tend to be regional right the what happens upstream affects us downstream, what, if we have one county impacted the next county over we'll often have impact as well direct or indirect.
There is a lot of benefits to collaborations between local governments. I think there is some specific ways in the hazard negation plenty obviously most of us do. Participate in multi jurisdictional hazard mitigation plans. We don't all develop our own individual ones. But those can look very different. And I've come to really prefer ones that have the sort of spoken wheel where you have the spoke is all of the combined efforts at risk analysis, but then each jurisdiction has its own Small planning process that thinks about their own very specific local issues and draws on that key resource in the middle.
Another thing that I think we've learned a lot about, especially in our more rural communities here in Texas, but also in Colorado is that the strength of having agreements in place between communities to assist one another With different kinds of hazard related issues. For example, we have we have a lot of aid agreements between local governments and Colorado that during a disaster event, other local governments can send staff for example to help build up their capacity really quick to help them respond and recover.
Or that they will provide Whoever is affected by disaster the county will provide technical expertise that the local government can't provide. So we have these sort of mutual Aid agreements in place that I think are really effective way at reducing the burden on individual local governments, but overall improving the capacity at a regional level to respond that doesn't rely on the state government to take charge.
I would also say in this is very much in Part of what Matt was saying, as a planner and as a planning professor, I really always emphasize that plans are one thing but planning processes are just as important. The fact that folks are getting together having conversations getting to know one another Building trust, learning things, asking questions, that is also really, really important, and so multi jurisdictional participation in planning processes tends to build up better neighbors, and therefore we all do better during disaster events.
And so overall, we should try to reduce the number of plans we're producing, we should try to stop this proliferation of plans, and instead, we should try to get as much Brought together into one place as possible, so it's silly to think about disasters separately from land use and silly to think about climate separate from hazards.
This is all issues that affect us locally and so, again, I think when we have fewer plans and fewer planning processes, but wider engagement and more participation, we're going to be better off. And again, I hate to say that as a planner, we need less plans, but really Local governments are stretched way too thin as is.
And so collaborating and planning processes can can help improve that a little bit and also make better outcomes.
>> And well thank you so much. If anyone else has any other questions, feel free To either enter them into the chat here, or you can reach out to either of our speakers or you can reach back out to just us specifically here at ERI and we will get it to them.
And we will get you answers when we send out the additional information. We will, like we said, we have a recording of this webinar that will be coming out early next week. And I will turn it back to Janet to wrap things up.
>> Yeah, I just want to say one more thank you to our speakers, Andy and Mary, thanks for your information today and thanks for everything that you're doing and your job is to help communities around the country and communities here in Indiana be prepared for these issues.
When we have these conversations bring people together we just We all do better at our jobs every day. So thank you. Please do join us next time for our next webinar about sustainable food systems local food and food security. If you have ideas for topics that you'd like us to cover, please do send those as well because these webinars are driven by what we hear from people that they want to hear about.
So have a great day. I hope everybody can get outside in the sunshine and a little bit of warmer weather and it'll be even warmer at our next webinar.