Disaster Mitigation and Resilience: Bouncing Back Sooner from a Disaster


Preparation and relationship-building took center stage as IBTS Chief Marketing and Development Officer, Chris Fennell, recently moderated a National Association of Counties (NACo) roundtable event that focused on disaster mitigation and resilience efforts. County leaders and federal officials from across the country met to discuss the policies, programs, and available resources that will help counties respond quickly and efficiently when a disaster occurs.

A common theme that arose was the importance of preparing and establishing relationships with state and federal governments, as well as private firms, ahead of a disaster. Having such agreements in place prior to an event can provide counties with immediate disaster response resources and accelerate the time to recovery.

IBTS recently entered into an agreement with NACo to provide member counties with pre-event contracts for disaster recovery services. Under this agreement, members gain access to subrecipient agreements, disaster planning and plan activation, initial disaster response, post-disaster services, recovery administration, grant closeout, and resilience planning. Cleveland County, Oklahoma, was the first to take advantage of this new member benefit.

“You have to have relationships in place before an event so that you know who to reach out to for expertise when disaster strikes,” said Darry Stacy, Commissioner of Cleveland County.

Others echoed this sentiment at the roundtable, centering the discussion on proactive approaches to disaster planning. This included understanding available resources, developing hazard mitigation projects, adopting new building codes, and putting pre-disaster contracts in place.

Planning for a natural disaster is a constant process. Although no disaster plan is perfect, localities that regularly review and update policies and procedures, staffing and stakeholders’ roles, and funding options are better able to manage the response and recovery effort when faced with a disaster.

IBTS will dive further into this topic during the NACo TwitterChat on Disaster Mitigation and Preparedness. Tune in on April 11 at 2p.m. ET to join the discussion.

Find the full NACo resilience roundtable article here: Roundtable Explores Building Disaster Resilience