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Delaware Database Hailed

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FEMA calls UD tool a best practice for innovative strategies to improve community resiliency

 

With the support of the state Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control's Delaware Coastal Programs, IPA launched the Delaware Database For Funding Resilient Communities.

The Institute for Public Administration (IPA) at the University of Delaware, with support from the state Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Controls Delaware Coastal Programs, launched the Delaware Database for Funding Resilient Communities in spring 2016.

States throughout [the Mid-Atlantic region] should view this effort in Delaware as a best practice and look for opportunities to form partnerships and compile resources for resiliency projects that are specific for their states, officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) said in their winter 2017 resilience report on innovative strategies to improve community resiliency for the Mid-Atlantic region.

Navigating the abundance of grant programs can be challenging, and many communities may be unaware of every program available to them, wrote FEMA in the report. This user-friendly web tool inventories resources that support resilient community development, including funding programs for disaster preparedness, disaster recovery, education, planning, property acquisition, stormwater management, and storm-proofing projects.

Municipalities in Delaware are vulnerable to storm surges, noreasters, heavy precipitation events, and sea-level rise. Preparing for and adapting to these vulnerabilities is an unprecedented planning and public works challenge for Delawares local governments, particularly because of the significant financial resources required to implement adaptation projects and enhance local resiliency.

To address this challenge, the IPA team of associate policy scientist Philip Barnes and Public Administration Fellows Gemma Tierney, a masters degree student, and Nikki Golomb, an undergraduate honors student in the Class of 2017, with support from Delaware Coastal Programs, conducted an extensive search of financial assistance programs that fund the implementation of resiliency-building plans and projects in Delaware and compiled the findings into an accessible and intuitive online searchable database.

While planning and technical assistance programs were identified and included, IPAs search prioritized financial assistance programs that fund the implementation of high-cost activities such as infrastructure improvements, facility retrofitting, construction, and land acquisition.

After all the financial assistance programs were identified and assembled, a user-friendly website was designed by Eric Cantrell, CAS computing operations assistant manager, and Sarah Pragg, IPA policy specialist, to present the results to the target audience. The team then marketed the online database to Delawares local government leaders such as city managers, public works directors, and elected officials.

Online access: The Delaware Database for Funding Resilient Communities can be accessed from any computer, tablet or mobile device.

YouTube tutorial: This three-minute video provides step-by-step instructions for using the search tool.

Provide Input: To keep the database current and relevant to grant funding, it must be continually updated as new financial assistance programs emerge and others are retired. Those who want to see a relevant program added to the Delaware Database for Funding Resilient Communities or if existing entries require new content or contain errors can contact the Institute for Public Administration by emailing resiliency@udel.edu.

The Universitys Institute for Public Administration (IPA), a center within the School of Public Policy and Administration, addresses the policy, planning, and management needs of its partners through the integration of applied research, professional development, and the education of tomorrows leaders. Visit IPA online.

The Delaware Coastal Programs (DCP) is a cooperative program between the State of Delaware and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The DCP helps manage Delawares federal coastal zone and balance the use and protection of its resources through the combined efforts of the Delaware Coastal Management Program and Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve.

Originally published in UDaily on January 20, 2017. Article by IPA staff.

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Used in the Home Page News Listing and for the News Rollup Page
FEMA calls IPA tool a best practice for innovative strategies to improve community resiliency.
1/20/2017
 
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Delaware Database Hailed