A Match Made in Heaven?– Integrating Climate Change into Hazard Mitigation Planning

A Match Made in Heaven?– Integrating Climate Change into Hazard Mitigation Planning

Sascha Petersen
Adaptation International
Time Slot: 
Concurrent Sessions 3
Session Type: 

The field of emergency management has been helping communities assess, plan for, and respond to extreme weather events and other disasters for decades. However, the approaches developed to help communities assess the risk and the potential impacts of extreme weather events have rarely been updated to include climate change. While requirements at a local level vary state by state, there is a great opportunity to mainstream adaptation planning and preparedness into the hazard mitigation process. If only we can find ways to effectively merge these two fields and ensure that communities are preparing for both current and future hazards.

This interactive session starts with an overview of the field (former chief of staff for FEMA under President Clinton - Ms. Bullock) and the value of investing in preparedness (ASFPM – Mr. Larson). Then, three speakers, the Climate Resilience Officer from the Urban Sustainability Directors Network (Ms. Baja), FEMA Region X coordinator (Mr. Schelling), and the disaster management coordinator for a tribal community (Mr. Chapman) provide examples of where and how disaster preparedness is being used to improve resilience across the country.

While there is a lot of potential, the differing traditions, languages, and approaches mean that integration isn’t necessarily easy. The session concludes with an interactive panel and audience discussion. Join us for an honest conversation addressing the opportunities and challenges of integrating climate change into hazard mitigation planning.


The National Perspective - Where FEMA Wins and Fails at Climate Smart Emergency Preparedness
Jane Bullock, Bullock and Haddow
The Value of Investing in Preparedness
Larry Larson, Association of State Flood Plain Managers
What it Takes to do Climate Smart Planning - Examples Small Towns in the Mid-Atlantic
Kristin Baja, USDN
Community Successes from FEMA Region X
Jonathan Olds, FEMA Region X
How Investing in Community Engagement can Lead to Better Involvement and Outcomes
Eric Chapman, Lac du Flambeau Tribe