FEMA Announces 483 Community Disaster Resilience Zones: A Step Towards a More Resilient Nation
When it comes to preparing for and mitigating the impact of natural disasters, collaboration and coordination across all levels of government and various sectors are essential. Recognizing this need, the Community Disaster Resilience Zones (CDRZ) Act, passed with bipartisan support in December 2022, represents a significant stride towards building disaster resilience across the nation.
Driving Resources to Vulnerable Communities
The primary goal of the Community Disaster Resilience Zones Act is to channel federal, public, and private resources toward underserved communities that are particularly vulnerable to natural hazards. These communities often lack the support and resources needed to enhance their resilience. On September 6, 2023, FEMA took a crucial step forward by announcing the initial designations of 483 CDRZs. For more information and to view an interactive map, visit the FEMA webpage.
A Vision of Collaboration and Coordination
The vision behind the CDRZ Act is clear: to leverage collaboration and cross-sector coordination among government agencies, philanthropic foundations, private non-profits, universities, the insurance industry, and private businesses. FEMA aims to ensure that the most at-risk and in-need communities receive the necessary support and opportunities to enhance their resilience.
Bipartisan Efforts for Climate Resilience
One of the most promising aspects of the CDRZ Act is the bipartisan support it has received. In a time when political divisions often dominate headlines, it’s heartening to see lawmakers working together to assist the communities that need it most in building climate resilience.
Access to Resources and Funding
One of the primary benefits of a CDRZ designation is increased access to funding and technical assistance for resilience and mitigation projects. FEMA’s implementation of the Act aims to ensure that communities facing the highest risks have the resources and support necessary to enhance their resilience.
Building a Climate-Resilient Nation
We are working in collaboration with FEMA and its federal agency partners, to develop the technical support program required to implement the CDRZ initiative. Navigator Organizations within each state and territory will play a crucial role in assisting communities with CDRZ designations in accessing the climate resilience support they need. This initiative sets the stage for a more comprehensive system of climate support services known as Climate Ready America. Navigator Organizations will evolve into Climate Innovation Centers, providing extensive support to all communities within their jurisdiction.
In the face of climate challenges, this bipartisan effort reminds us that together, we can strengthen our communities and build a brighter, more resilient future.
- One Month Later: Community Disaster Resilience Zones “What They Are Saying” (FEMA, Sept. 29, 2023)
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