Helping Communities to Plan for Disasters

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate‘s Coastal Resilience Center has launched the Plan Integration for Resilience Scorecard™ (PIRS™) website. The website will offer local governments a scorecard system to evaluate hazard zones, planning districts, emergency plans and policy impact in order to reduce vulnerability and better protect their communities in times of disaster. It also offers a guidebook to walk users through the scorecard process as well as suggestions on how to best use their analysis results.

“We need to be preparing to adapt to the changes that are coming[.] We will face drought, wildfire, mass migrations, and conflict. PIRS™ is one tool to help communities move in the direction of resilience.”

Dr. Philip Berke
Project Co-leader, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The process of creating a Resilience Scorecard™ involves (1) gathering community plans and policies, (2) evaluating and assigning scores for policies that fall within hazard zones, and (3) determining vulnerabilities for areas of the community based on current policies. The goals of the scorecard are to:

  • Identify incongruities within networks of plans
  • Help integrate and improve local plans to reduce losses from hazard events
  • Provide a framework for communities developing new or existing plans to reduce future hazard risk
  • Provide a reliable tool to address on-the-ground needs, facilitate conversations with stakeholders, and build capacity

For further related reading, check out HSDL‘s resources on natural disaster planning and hazard mitigation.

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