Community & Culture: Resources

Natural Hazards Center: Research Counts Series

A platform for hazards and disaster scholars to provide insights about research findings and the enduring lessons of disaster, as well as to raise new questions that are worthy of exploration.

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FEMA Community Rating System (CRS) Elevation Certificate Training Videos

The CRS Program has just released 8 videos that cover training on the FEMA Elevation Certificate (EC). The videos describe each Section of the EC and explain which fields on the form are required for CRS purposes and why.

Watch Now


FEMA Grants Portal Website for PA Grants:

Recipient and Applicant Webinars are designed to train State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial stakeholders on the Public Assistance grant process and the FEMA Grants Portal website that is used for PA grants.

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FEMA Podcast, Episode 83

The FEMA Podcast is an audio series available to anyone interested in learning more about the agency, hearing about innovation in the field of emergency management, and listening to stories about communities and individuals recovering after disasters.

Listen Now


Coping with Grief After Community Violence

This SAMHSA tip sheet introduces some of the signs of grief and anger after an incident of community violence, provides useful information about to how to cope with grief, and offers tips for helping children deal with grief.



Mass Violence/Community Violence

This SAMHSA Disaster Behavioral Health Information Series (DBHIS) installment is a collection of resources about common reactions to incidents of mass violence, community violence, and terrorism; tips for coping with such incidents; and ways to support children and youth in coping.

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The Impact of Disaster and Mass Violence Events on Mental Health

This online article from the National Center for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) describes common reactions that disaster survivors may experience. While most reactions lessen over time, some may turn into long-term and severe responses, such as PTSD.

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Deep Dive: Mental Health Impacts in Medicaid Programs, November 6

As a result of COVID-19, states are experiencing severe declines in tax revenue, with projections indicating 5-15% reductions in revenue for fiscal year (FY) 2020 and reductions of 10-25% for FY 2021. A number of states have also been forced to severely cut funding for behavioral health services. Colorado has cut $26 million in funds allocated for behavioral health for FY 2021, while Florida, Georgia and Utah have cut funding for substance use disorder programs. According to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, the need for behavioral health care was already high before the pandemic, with deaths from overdose and suicide at near-historic and three-decade highs, respectively. Need has likely only risen since then, given the recent stress and trauma from the public health and economic crises. This session will explore how state Medicaid programs are addressing need while facing financial realities brought on the pandemic. It will also be an opportunity for state leaders to learn about the CSG Medicaid Policy Academies planned for 2021.



Opportunity Makers: Melding Health and Equity in Rural Places, November 10, 3 – 4 PM EST

Resourceful and committed rural American health innovators are taking a fresh look at a wider range of practical answers to the question: What it will take to create healthy places where everyone feels a sense of belonging, lives with dignity and thrives? Some rural health professionals are transforming the way they work, creating a culture of hope along with health. They are increasing opportunity by integrating other components critical to better livelihoods – like preventative wellness, community agriculture and economic development action – especially focusing on those with lower incomes and in communities of color. New data tools are making it possible for rural health advocates to quantify and visualize health equity disparities within their community, which in turn allows them to be better advocates for their people and places.



Smart Transportation Initiative Community of Practice Sessions

Register today to join us for our annual Community of Practice Meeting! We welcome DOT CEOs, staff, and staff from other transportation agencies to participate in these sessions.

  • November 16, 11 a.m. ET: DOTs’ Role in Reining in VMT



The Federal Response to COVID-19 from a State & Local Perspective, November 23

The rapid spread of novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) across the U.S. has been met with a decentralized and piecemeal response led primarily by governors, mayors and local health departments. With limited federal action, state and local governments have been required to lead efforts in combating the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of our state and local leaders have been faced with unprecedented decisions in regulating a public health crisis. In this session hosted by the CSG Intergovernmental Affairs Committee, hear from members of several leading membership organizations representing state and local governments on how federal strategy related to COVID-19 has impacted state and local jurisdictions.



Healthy States: Curating State Health for the Future, December 15

Beginning with an exclusive deep dive on the role that telehealth has played through the COVID-19 pandemic and efforts to expand access to it, join the CSG Healthy States National Task Force for the unveiling of its best health care policy practices, the result of a two-year collaboration with state leaders for discussion and analysis. Health care issues identified by each of the task force’s four subcommittees include data and technology, investments and returns, behavioral health, community resiliency and more. In addition, this session will highlight states and showcase trends in these areas across the nation as experts and task force members detail what it meant and what it will mean to be a healthy state in 2020 and beyond.



Declining Participation by Women in the Workforce

A recent COVID-19 brief released by McKinsey & Company raises concerns that COVID-19 has exacerbated existing gender disparities in the workplace. According to the data cited, women are being both laid off and furloughed at higher rates than men. Many women are also having to downshift their careers, taking a lower paying position with lessened responsibilities or part-time work, or having to leave the workforce altogether due to competing demands on their time, such as child care needs. Some estimates are that as many as 2 million women may leave the workforce as a result of COVID-19. This trend could have a tremendously detrimental effect on efforts at reducing gender disparities, and negatively impact those gains that had previously been made. One suggestion is for companies to identify ways to better support the needs of their employees in order not to see such a reduction.


How US Philanthropy is Responding to the 2020 Crises

A new report by the Council on FoundationsPhilanthropy California, and Dalberg Advisors outlines how the US philanthropic sector is responding to the 2020 public health, racial justice, and economic crises that have affected millions of Americans. The publication, “Shifting Practices, Sharing Power? How US Philanthropy is Responding to the 2020 Crises” is focused on enabling conditions that would facilitate a #BuildBackBetter approach for communities. Philanthropy sees 2020 as a year that brought us multiple, compounding, and ongoing crises in the form of direct and indirect effects of COVID-19, as well as calls for racial justice across the country. These crises have heightened calls for philanthropy to make major changes in their giving practices, which would allow their grantees to respond more nimbly to emerging needs and work towards longer-term goals. A survey and in-depth interviews were conducted as the basis for this report, with the survey garnering 250 responses from foundation leaders. The findings look at philanthropic sector changes in 2020 in terms of resourcing, priorities, and operations.


COVID and the Arts and Creative Industries: Losses in Jobs, Events, Products and Our Culture

With the nation many months into the pandemic, there is regular reporting and analysis on COVID-19 impacts to various sectors of our economy. In August, The Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution released what is likely the first report on the impact of COVID-19 within the arts and creative industries sectors. These for-profit and nonprofit organizations and businesses are broadly defined to include artists, fashion, performing arts, entertainment, musicians, cultural institutions and those occupations that support the sectors. The report entitled: Lost Art:  Measuring COVID-19’s Devastating Impact on America’s Creative Economy, reports on two types of losses: jobs and decimated revenues from declining product sales and cancellation of events and performances. Additionally, the report states that these industries “employ 8.8 million workers and generate over $1.7 trillion in sales annually, which represents 4% of annual sales of goods and services in the United States.“ The research measures the job and revenue losses on a state by state basis and in key large and smaller geographic markets. The period covered by the data is April 1-July 31, 2020.


Texas General Land Office | MIT Competition Application Guidance: Citizen Participation

A critical component of submitting a successful application for the three MIT competitions underway is complying with the Citizen Participation requirement.  This requirement is an opportunity for all citizens to provide input on the substantially complete proposed application.

As stated on page 34 of the Application Guide, “an application under the CDBG-MIT program may be awarded only if the locality certifies provides evidence that, at a minimum, the substantially complete application was publicly posted for at least a 14-day public comment period, comments received, and responses provided.”



FEMA Grant File Documentation and Recordkeeping Tool

FEMA’s Grant Programs Directorate (GPD), Grants Management Technical Assistance (GMTA) program launched the Grants Management Digital Resource Center in partnership with  the Emergency Management Institute (EMI), to provide information and resources to support the  grants management lifecycle. These tools are for Non Federal Entities (NFE) who receive federal financial assistance from FEMA. The Grant File Documentation and Recordkeeping Tools is a new tool that has been added. Tools have been created to highlight documentation management and retention practices for NFE’s to follow. These tools also recommend different types of documents that NFE’s may need to track the lifecycle of their grants. We encourage you to explore this page/site and share relevant resources with recipients and stakeholders as appropriate. GMTA will continue to update the Digital Resource Center  at with new information and resources, so check back often to see what has been added. For any questions, please contact:

FEMA Shares Case Studies for Interagency Disaster Recovery Coordination

Flash floods in 2016 and 2018 ravaged Ellicott City, Maryland. Thanks to proactive local leadership, however, this tight-knit community rallied to support its historic city center and main street economy. The recovery remains underway. FEMA develops Interagency Recovery Coordination case studies on communities like Ellicott City to share stories of recovery coordination solutions, lessons learned and best practices. These case studies highlight challenging scenarios faced during disaster recovery efforts and details how emergency managers collaborated with federal, state, local, tribal, territorial and private partners to overcome those challenges. The studies are available to practitioners, members of academia and the public through the Case Study Library. Given complex and unique challenges faced during disaster recovery, success stories are critical resources for practitioners preparing for and managing disasters. Additionally, case studies give readers insight on a variety of real-life incidents. The recovery case studies also support continuous learning for FEMA employees, their partners and the higher education community. Have an idea for a case study? We want to hear it! Send your ideas to FEMA Interagency Coordination Division, using the subject line “Case Study Suggestion,” and a team member will contact you to schedule a preliminary interview..

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FEMA Announces Free Access to GIS Software and Licensed Datasets in Response to COVID-19

On March 28, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that through the DHS Enterprise License Agreement with Esri, DHS/FEMA is able to extend that agreement to non-Federal governmental partners during incidents of national significance, which includes COVID-19.

State, local, tribal and territorial governmental entities can now obtain free access to Esri software for up to 6 months to help respond to COVID-19.



USDA Extends Free Meals for Kids for Entire School Year

USDA previously extended child nutrition waivers through December 2020 based upon available funding at the time. The flexibilities extended today will allow schools and other local program operators to continue to leverage the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and the Seamless Summer Option (SSO) to provide no cost meals to all children, available at over 90,000 sites across the country, through June 30, 2021. These program flexibilities allow schools and local program operators to operate a meal service model that best meets their community’s unique needs, while keeping kids and staff safe. Additional flexibilities are being granted on a state-by-state basis, as required by law, to facilitate a wide range of meal service options and accommodate other operational needs. Early in the pandemic, USDA adapted its summer feeding site finder to ensure parents and children would be able to easily locate sites that were providing meal service. With this new announcement, the Meals for Kids interactive site finder will continue to collect data, voluntarily provided by USDA’s state agency partners, about operating sites including location, meal service times, and additional information.


Pandemic Resilience: Getting It Done

A supplement to the Roadmap to Pandemic Resilience and offers concrete, localized recommendations for testing, tracing and supported isolation (TTSI), based on differing levels of disease prevalence, so that communities across the US can re-open and stay open.


Navigating the CARES Act for Nonprofits

The U.S. Chamber Foundation hosted an online briefing on how 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations can benefit from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.



The U.S. Chamber also created a guide for nonprofits and small businesses with everything you need to know about how to apply for relief under the CARES Act, including eligibility, requirements, and application guidelines.

Access the guide and checklist


Mutual Aid Resource Planner

The Mutual Aid Resource Planner (MARP) allows planners to develop capability based mutual aid plans using a cloud-based platform, enabling rapid deployment and streamlining information sharing. The MARP: Allows users to share plans and resource needs with partners; Helps align planners with operations staff; Provides a simplified planning template.




These frequently asked questions (FAQs) provide information to Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR), CDBG National Disaster Resilience (CDBG-NDR), and CDBG Mitigation (CDBG-MIT) grantees on flexibilities HUD is granting on timelines, eligible activities, and citizen participation as communities work to prevent and respond to the spread of COVID-19.



National Health Care for the Homeless Council

NHCHC maintains a webpage on COVID-19 resources, including a link to its archived webinar on Coronavirus and the HCH Community: Status Updates, Available Guidance, Local Preparations, and Outstanding Issues.


School Meal Finder

Select your state and/or provide your address below to find meal sites while schools are closed. This site currently has data for Louisiana, Tennessee, Virginia, and Texas, provided by state education agencies, plus some data from California and Alabama provided by local districts




SAMHSA’s Disaster Distress Helpline

SAMHSA’s Disaster Distress Helpline provides 24/7, 365-day-a-year crisis counseling and support to people experiencing emotional distress related to natural or human-caused disasters.


Deaf/Hard of Hearing

  • Text TalkWithUs to 66746
  • Use your preferred relay service to call the Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990
  • TTY 1-800-846-8517

Spanish Speakers

  • Call 1-800-985-5990 and press “2”
  • From the 50 States, text Hablanos to 66746
  • From Puerto Rico, text Hablanos to 1-787-339-2663
  • En Español


TRO News Release: Harvey households covered by FEMA group flood insurance should prepare now to buy standard flood insurance by Oct. 24

Many families affected by Hurricane Harvey in August 2017 did not have flood insurance. As part of its disaster assistance, FEMA provided Group Flood Insurance Policies (GFIP) to 6,704 households across counties impacted by Harvey. These three-year policies end Oct. 24, so policyholders must plan now to switch to a standard flood insurance policy to ensure continuous coverage. Those who received a GFIP policy as part of their FEMA disaster assistance after Harvey but don’t buy a standard flood insurance policy will likely not receive federal disaster assistance for home repairs if they experience another flood event.



Coronavirus Rumor Control

The purpose of this FEMA page is to help the public distinguish between rumors and facts regarding the response to coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Rumors can easily circulate within communities during a crisis. Do your part to the stop the spread of disinformation by doing 3 easy things; don’t believe the rumors, don’t pass them along and go to trusted sources of information to get the facts about the federal (COVID-19) response.



Coronavirus Pandemic: Eligible Emergency Protective Measures

Consistent with the President’s national emergency declaration for the coronavirus (COVID-
19) pandemic on March 13, 2020, FEMA urges officials to, without delay, take appropriate actions that are necessary to protect public health and safety pursuant to public health guidance and conditions and capabilities in their jurisdictions. FEMA provides the following guidance on the types of emergency protective measures that may be eligible under FEMA’s Public Assistance Program in accordance with the COVID-19 Emergency Declaration in order to ensure that resource constraints do not inhibit efforts to respond to this unprecedented disaster.



Investing in What Works for America’s Communities

Safe and affordable housing will always be an important concern for lower-income Americans, but the recent recession and resulting damage to communities across the country make it clear that communities are more than physical structures.



Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy releases Low-Income Energy Affordability Data Tool

The Low-Income Energy Affordability Data (LEAD) Tool is designed to help states, communities and other stakeholders create better energy strategies and programs by improving their understanding of low-income housing and energy characteristics.



FEMA Releases PrepTalk “Why People Underprepare for Disasters”

Dr. Kunreuther explores why disaster damages and fatalities from disasters increased globally through the early twenty-first century despite advances in forecasting and warnings. He identifies six human biases behind the underinvestment in protection against disasters and explains that understanding these biases can help us design strategies to improve preparedness.



Green Infrastructure: A Strategy for Flood Risk Mitigation

The Green Infrastructure for Texas (GIFT) program specializes in water quality and quantity through a series of living landscape features. Our projects include rain gardens, floating wetlands and other low-impact design elements like WaterSmart Parks. We also partner with stakeholders in the community to share our expertise and collect valuable information through two-way dialogue, discovery workshops, town hall meetings, forums and volunteer programs.



Youth Reflect on COVID-19 Uncertainties

The COVID-19 pandemic has upended everyday life, and young people across America have seen their daily routines change. We asked members of FEMA’s National Youth Preparedness Council (YPC) and Regional Youth Preparedness Councils, they responded with thoughtful answers that reflect both worries about today and hope for the future. Read more.


TRO News Release: Be a Sweetheart: Prepare Your Family now for Spring Weather

If it can rain, it can flood. Floods are the most frequent – and the most costly – natural disasters in the United States. Hurricane Harvey impacted 41,500 square miles of Texas in August 2017, resulting in 92,351 flood insurance claims which paid out $9 billion. Texas homeowners and renters should protect and prepare their families and their homes by taking two important steps: purchasing a flood insurance policy and preparing a disaster supply kit.

News release in English; News release in Spanish


FEMA Podcast Episode 64: Storing and Moving Commodities in Support of Survivors

On this episode of the FEMA podcast listen to a discussion concerning all aspects of the on-hand commodity mission, which stands to support disaster survivors and communities that need it most. This episode features a tour of the FEMA Distribution Center located in Frederick, Maryland.



New DRGR Flags Available

HUD has released an additional 26 flags into the Disaster Recovery Grant Reporting (DRGR) system. Flags are meant to alert Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) and Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) grantees, Technical Assistance (TA) Providers, and Community Planning and Development (CPD) Representatives of activities that are at-risk of non-compliance or contain other deficiencies requiring attention or correction.


Living with Water Houston

The City of Houston, working with the Rockefeller Foundation and other partners, released the “Living with Water Houston” report today. This document outlines steps the city will take to make itself more resilient against floods and future disasters.



Executive Fire Officer Program

The fiscal year 2021 application period for the newly revised Executive Fire Officer (EFO) Program at the National Fire Academy is open and will close on April 15. The EFO Program provides senior officers enhanced knowledge on management and leadership problems facing fire and EMS departments.



Ready Responder

A few simple steps can go a long way to ensuring your family’s safety.’s “Ready Responder” offers resources and guides for both firefighters and law enforcement to help with this goal.



HUD Releases New IDIS Training for CDBG Grantees

HUD is pleased to announce the availability of several *new* training modules for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) grantees on using the Integrated Disbursement and Information System (IDIS).

Before exploring modules on specific National Objectives, explore Introduction to IDIS which presents the IDIS system and why IDIS is an essential tool for CDBG grant administration.



Dr. Carolyn Kouky’s “Harnessing the Power of Disaster Insurance”

In her PrepTalk, Kousky demonstrates the essential role of insurance in disaster recovery. She explains why not enough people have insurance coverage, and offers suggestions for how the public and private sectors can work together to overcome challenges to increasing insurance coverage across America.



The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) National Radon Action Month

EPA and the U.S. Surgeon General urge everyone to protect their health by testing the indoor air in their homes and schools for radon. Radon is a natural, radioactive gas that claims about 21,000 lives each year. It is the leading cause of death from lung cancer among nonsmokers in the United States. Exposure to radon is a preventable health risk.



Building Science Releases FEMA P-2055: Post-Disaster Building Safety Evaluation Guide

This Guide was developed as required by the Disaster Recovery Reform Act of 2018, Section 1241: Post-disaster Building Safety Assessment and targets three main stakeholder groups.

  • Architects, engineers, and building officials directly involved in post-disaster building safety evaluation.
  • Emergency managers and health officials who may be involved in management of the post-disaster evaluation process, including environmental health issues.
  • Policy makers at state, local, tribal, and territorial and federal government levels.

FEMA P-2055 summarizes and references best practice guideline documents, identifies recommended improvements and needs, and provides interim recommendations for issues without best practice guidance.



Topics in Climate Change Adaptation Planning Webinar Series

Recordings are available at: under the Trainings and Events tab.


Hazus Webinar: Economic benefits of open space

Tina Lund, principal at Urbanomics, and Michael Haggerty, associate at Starr Whitehouse, discuss their use of Hazus to document the economic benefits of converting low-lying areas in East Harlem to open space. The project considers both social resilience and climate change – increasingly important areas of discussion for the risk assessment community.



USDA Highlights Investments and Accomplishments in 2019 to Build Rural Prosperity

WASHINGTON, Dec. 19, 2019 – USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Donald “DJ” LaVoy today highlighted major accomplishments and investments that are building prosperity and strengthening the nation’s rural businesses and communities. “Under the leadership of President Donald J. Trump and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, USDA continues to make great strides in building prosperity in our rural America,” LaVoy said. “In 2019, the Department collaborated with many partners and invested $28.6 billion to spark business development and create jobs in all 50 states and all U.S. territories.



Demonstrating Area Benefit to Low and Moderate Income Persons

This video provides a helpful overview for understanding Low- and Moderate-Income Summary Data and the methodologies used by Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) grantees to determine whether or not a CDBG-funded activity qualifies as a Low/Mod Area Benefit (LMA) activity.



HUD Continues Support for Fifteen States and Four U.S. Territories Recovering From Major Disaster

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today allocated over $2.3 billion to support the long-term disaster recovery process in hard-hit areas in fifteen states, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. This allocation is supported through HUD’s Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) Program and will address seriously damaged housing, businesses and infrastructure from disasters that occurred since 2017. The CDBG-DR Program requires grantees to develop thoughtful recovery plans informed by local residents. Learn more about CDBG-DR and the State’s role in long-term disaster recovery (en español). The State of Texas will receive an additional $26,513,000 for DR-4377 and $212,741,000 for DR-4454 and DR-4466.



FEMA Releasees Updated Community Lifelines Toolkit

On November 18 FEMA announced the release of the “Community Lifelines Implementation Toolkit 2.0” and the “Incident Stabilization Guide,” which provide updated information and resources to better understand and implement Community Lifelines throughout the emergency management community.


PrepTalk Released: ‘Let the Community Lead: Rethinking Command and Control Systems’

FEMA and its emergency management partners released Aaron Titus’s PrepTalk “Let the Community Lead: Rethinking Command and Control Systems.” In his PrepTalk, Titus challenges emergency managers to acknowledge the limitations of command and control systems and to rethink how we interact with the community.



Resource Associates On-Demand Webinars

As part of our commitment to helping nonprofits, tribes and education agencies be successful, Resource Associates regularly hosts webinars to provide valuable information about everything from tips for writing specific grants to strategies for more effectively managing your organization. Please feel free to share these resources with your colleagues.



2019 Young Minds Matter Conference Recording

This episode of our podcast takes place against the backdrop of the 2019 Young Minds Matter (YMM) Conference, held by the Hogg Foundation, in Houston, TX. The theme for this year’s event was “Communities Connecting for Well-Being.” We converse with three unique and powerful voices from the conference: Marlon Lizama, a Houston spoken-word artist and co-founder of Iconoclast Artists; Dr. Howard Pinderhughes, chair of the Department of Social and Behavioral Science at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF); and Dr. Nia West-Bey, a senior policy analyst with the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP). In these conversations we converge on the central question: What does it truly mean to care about young minds?



CharityHowTo – Free Nonprofit Training Courses

CharityHowTo provides free live and on-demand that focus on assisting nonprofits. Some of the upcoming webinars include: Start Your 2020 Grant Strategy Off Right!, How to Recruit and Manage Amazing Event Committees, How to Lead Event Committees to Success, and Google Ad Grants 101 – Grow Your Nonprofit’s Online Presence With $10K/Month in Free Ads.



Updated EOP ASSIST Software and Interactive Workbook

Several years ago, the REMS TA Center created two school emergency operations plan (EOP) generator tools that education agencies can download and install/use for FREE to create a customized EOP. These tools were designed according to best practices and years of work in school emergency management. Both tools were recently updated.

EOP ASSIST software application. Interactive Workbook. EOP Interactive Tools Flyer. SITE ASSESS


FEMA Releases Updated Community Lifelines Toolkit

The “Community Lifelines Implementation Toolkit 2.0” and the “Incident Stabilization Guide,” which provide updated information and resources to better understand and implement Community Lifelines throughout the emergency management community.


Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the U.S. Department of State Release Guide to Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience

The guide provides a step-by-step approach to developing, implementing, and refining related policies and programs for a range of stakeholders, including experts in security, counterterrorism, crisis management and emergency response.  The guide acknowledges that the effectiveness of critical infrastructure protection is greatly enhanced when based on an approach that considers all threats and hazards.



Texas General Land Office – Training

As a partner in the recovery process, the GLO is committed to providing Technical Assistance and Training to its subrecipients. With current CDBG-DR allocations spanning impacted counties with over 75% of the state’s population, the number of communities participating as subrecipients continues to grow. The GLO continues to conduct kickoff and informational meetings with subrecipients regarding 2015 and 2016 Floods and Hurricane Harvey funds. The GLO will be developing training materials on the most important topics for administering CDBG-DR funds. These topics include:

  • Uniform Relocation Act
  • Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing
  • Davis Bacon
  • Financial Management
  • Procurement
  • Program Income
  • Section 3



FEMA Building Science releases P-2054, Mitigation Assessment Team Compendium Report: 2017 Hurricane Season

FEMA’s Building Science Branch is pleased to announce that FEMA P-2054, Mitigation Assessment Team Compendium Report: 2017 Hurricane Season, is now available online. Also available are Mitigation Assessment Team Reports:

The FEMA Building Science Branch provides technical services for the Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration (FIMA). The branch develops and produces multi-hazard mitigation guidance that focuses on creating disaster-resilient communities to reduce loss of life and property.



National Community Solar Partnership

The National Community Solar Partnership, managed by EERE’s Solar Energy Technologies Office, is a coalition of community solar stakeholders working to expand access to affordable community solar to every American household by 2025. To achieve this goal, the Partnership is seeking participants for multi-stakeholder teams of state, local, and tribal governments; utilities; businesses; nonprofit organizations; and others to help make the benefits of community solar accessible. The partners will collaborate for 18–24 months, and DOE will provide technical assistance, tools, and information to help partners identify, avoid, and overcome typical barriers involved in delivering community solar. If you’re interested in joining the Partnership or learning more, please send an email to

Learn more on the Partnership.


What Is a Grant

The What is… Blog Series is designed to serve as an entry point for readers who are new to federal grants, or who might just need a refresher. This series includes: What is a Budget Narrative, what is a Need Statement, and many more topics.



National Response Framework, Fourth Edition

The 2017 Hurricane Season FEMA After-Action Report called for a revised NRF focusing response efforts on stabilization of Community Lifelines and recognized that after a disaster, government resourcing alone cannot meet all community needs.  Close partnerships with the private sector are required to successfully align response efforts to ensure unity of effort.  Additionally, FEMA and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency worked with the whole community, including other federal agencies, to develop the ESF #14 Annex.  This new ESF specifically seeks to improve coordination between infrastructure owners and operators, businesses, and government partners to more effectively stabilize key supply chains and community lifelines in the immediate aftermath of a disaster.



Declared Natural Disasters and Emergencies Tax Help

The Texas Comptrollers’ Office has many resources, publications, and Frequently Asked Questions. When the governor of Texas or the president of the United States declares a location in Texas to be a disaster area, taxpayers in the affected area are eligible for certain tax exemptions and filing extensions for their taxes.

Resources. Publications


The InfoGram

The Emergency Management and Response – Information Sharing and Analysis Center’s released Volume 19 – Issue 39 on October 24, 2019. It contained information on the 2019 Wildfire Risk Report and new prediction methods. It also provides information on the new online webPOISONCONTROL digital triage poison center.



Green Stormwater Infrastructure Fact Sheet

Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) is a suite of systems and practices that restore and maintain natural hydrologic processes in order to reduce the volume and water quality impacts of stormwater runoff. Riparian buffers, green roofs, bioswales, cisterns, permeable pavements and constructed wetlands are all examples of GSI.



Low Impact Development Fact Sheet

Low Impact Development (LID) is defined as “an innovative land planning and design approach which seeks to maintain a site’s pre-development ecological and hydrological function through the protection, enhancement, or mimicry of natural processes.” There are many reasons to use LID, but stormwater management is typically the primary one.



USDA and DOE Join Forces to Increase Energy Technology Development and Deployment in Rural America

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Under Secretary Donald “DJ” LaVoy and U.S. Department of Energy Under Secretary of Energy Mark W. Menezes today announced a Memorandum of Understanding between the two departments to promote rural energy and the development of technologies that will support and advance rural and agricultural communities and domestic manufacturing.



AgriLife Extension – Disaster Assessment and Recovery Positions

AgriLife Extension service is currently looking for people who are motivated for their Disaster Assessment and Recovery Positions. The Extension service is working to build a team statewide that will work together as they develop the new Disaster Assessment and Recovery Program. Currently there are five positions available in: La Salle, Hidalgo, Refugio, Washington, and Matagorda. (click to respective county to be taken to the posting)



Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools (REMS)

To help education agencies plan and prepare for floods, the REMS TA Center has released a NEW fact sheet series on flooding that is customized for K-12, higher ed, and state education agency populations.

To complement these fact sheets, the REMS TA Center also released Resources on Preparing for Floods at Education Agencies. This resource list provides a more extensive list of resources that support planning. Resources are grouped according to the area of flood planning that they serve: flood annex development, data sources for floods, flood mitigation, flood alerts/communications/warnings/notifications, creating a culture of flood preparedness, physical and structural recovery from floods, and general flood safety. Our Topic-Specific Resources section and Publications page feature these fact sheets, as well as other resources and tools that can support emergency preparedness planning specific to natural hazards, as well as biological hazards, technological hazards, and adversarial- and human-caused threats.


Youth As A Part Of Whole Community Preparedness

In this episode, FEMA speaks with emergency managers and a member of FEMA’s National Youth Preparedness Council who are working to make preparedness a part of Pacific Northwest schools and communities. Hsin Ya (Jessie) Huang, a student at South Eugene High School; Scott Zaffram, Federal Preparedness Coordinator at Region 10; and Bryce A. McKenna, Emergency Management Director at Oregon Department of Education – Office of Student Services share their perspectives on youth preparedness.



FEMA Data Visualization: Historical Flood Risk and Costs

This page contains an interactive data tool to allow you to better understand your historical flood risk and potential flood-related costs.



DRRA Section 1231 Fact Sheet: Acquisition of Property for Open Space and Policy Clarification

Through its Hazard Mitigation Assistance grant programs, FEMA funds the voluntary acquisition of hazard-prone properties from private owners. Property acquisition is not new for FEMA; however, DRRA Section 1231 contains new requirements for the project notification process and emphasizes a community’s responsibilities regarding acquired land.

The newly released DRRA Section 1231 Fact Sheet outlines these new requirements for state, tribal, territorial, and local governments and supplements existing FEMA guidance on property acquisition projects per the DRRA. FEMA also released a policy clarification on the Eligibility of Hazard Mitigation Assistance Applications with Pre-Award Demolitions.


FEMA Prep Talk: Our Changing World: The Challenge for Emergency Managers

David Kaufman is the Vice President and Director for Safety and Security at CNA and previously served as the Associate Administrator for Policy, Program Analysis, and International Affairs at FEMA.



October 2019 NFIP Program Changes

The October Program Changes video details three NFIP program changes.

FEMA recently published Bulletin w-19014 – April 1, 2020 and January 1, 2021 Program Changes. The NFIP offers free online courses covering basic and advanced flood insurance topics through the FEMA Emergency Management Institute’s Independent Study Program. Visit the NFIP Training pages for agents or claims adjusters for course details, or view this list of NFIP courses offered through the Independent Study Program.


The Role of Districts in Developing High-Quality School Emergency Operations Plans

When our nation’s 55 million K–12 students1 head to class each day, they should find safe havens for learning, free from threats and hazards. Indeed, a safe and healthy environment is vital to student learning, and necessary for maintaining public trust in our educational system. Creating such an atmosphere requires collaboration between school officials and their community partners to prepare for and to respond to a threat (a human-caused emergency, such as a crime or violence) or a hazard (a natural disaster, disease outbreak, or accident). To this end, several federal agencies jointly produced the Guide for Developing High-Quality School Emergency Operations Plans2 (School Guide) in 2013.



Regional Resilience Toolkit: 5 Steps to Build Large Scale resilience to Natural Disasters

DHS, EPA, ABAG   |   July 2019
The goal of this Toolkit is to help cities, regions, and other partners integrate various planning processes – including for hazard mitigation, climate adaptation, sustainability, and equity – into a single process to create a common action plan. There is a need to consolidate varied planning processes, align goals and actions, and make it easier for communities to obtain funding for projects that cut across different planning areas.

Download PDF


FEMA seeks public comments about information collection

FEMA recently listed a Federal Register Notice for public comments about information collection, in regards to mitigation grant programs. In accordance with federal law and as part of the Code of Regulations, part 80, this notice seeks comments concerning grants for the property acquisition and relocation for open space.



The White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council

The White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council members have identified over 160 federal programs where targeting, preference, or additional support could be granted to Opportunity Zones. As of August 8, 2019, the Council has already taken action on over 140 grants or programs.



HUD Encourages Partnerships Between CDBG Recipients and Nonprofit Organizations

HUD has issued new clarifying guidance to further advance and leverage partnerships between Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) grantees and subrecipients at the local level. This guidance describes key tools and resources available to assist CDBG grantees in facilitating partnerships with nonprofit organizations and other key stakeholders to complete community development, revitalization, and rehabilitation projects in local communities.



Form-Based Codes Institute – Codes for Communities

The Form-Based Codes for Communities programs draws on the experience and talents of FBCI leaders to provide local governments with advice and guidance on form-based codes and zoning reform. FBCI offers four levels of assistance in the Codes for Communities program.



Texas Disaster Recovery Program

The TEEX Disaster Management Recovery Program helps jurisdictions build recovery capabilities through facilitated training and exercises using established National Frameworks and best practices. During training, participants receive crucial information designed to assist communities by enhancing and adapting existing recovery plans to better meet their community’s recovery needs.

Information. ** Note the webpage contain a Disaster Recovery section at the bottom that can be expanded to view list of courses.


Neighborfest – Building Resilience from the Block Up

Daniel Homsey is director of the Neighborhood Empowerment Network (NEN) for the City Administrator’s Office of the City of San Francisco. The NEN empowers residents to build and steward stronger, more resilient communities. Homsey has spent the past 25 years as a communications professional in both the private and public sectors. Homsey shares his tools for building resilient communities.



The 4P Framework: A Principled Approach for Engaging Youth in Risk Reduction and Resilience

There is a growing global movement of youth and adult allies who believe that stronger youth engagement and voice will contribute to individual, social, economic, and environmental resilience.



Continuity Resource Toolkit

The Continuity Resource Toolkit is designed to provide whole community partners additional tools, templates, and resources to assist in implementing the concepts found within the Continuity Guidance Circular.



New Coastal Homes Raise Flood Risks

An analysis by Climate Central, Princeton, N.J. and Zillow Seattle, shows nearly 20,000 homes built in the past decade are at significant risk of chronic coastal flooding by 2050. Read the summary provided by Mortgage Bankers Association.



The Texas Coastal Exchange (TCX)

As a nonprofit organization, TCX now enables concerned citizens and businesses to support local landowners through donation-funded grants that help protect natural lands and the ecosystem benefits that they provide from development.



National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Technical Bulletins

The updated NFIP Technical bulletins 0, 4, and 8 are now available and serve to provide guidance for complying with the minimum NFIP floodplain management requirements pertaining to building performance. The bulletins are primarily for use by state and local officials responsible for interpreting and enforcing building codes and NFIP regulations. They are also helpful for design professionals, builders, and homeowners.



Holistic Disaster Recovery: Promoting Social and Intergenerational Equity during Disaster Recovery

An equal chance to survive across time means that every stakeholder gets a chance to participate and benefit from recovery processes. How can we make sure everyone’s life is better, by not making someone else’s worse? Read this paper for ideas.

Click Here


National Equity Atlas helping to create more equitable communities

Follow the link to explore how this tool can play a powerful role in guiding policy, planning, and strategic investments to create more equitable communities.

Click Here


2020 Census 

The 2020 Census is underway and households across America are responding every day. Respond Latest News:

  • Census Bureau Completes Delivery of 2020 Census Materials to 96% of Households Information
  • Ensuring an Accurate Count of College Students and Towns in the 2020 Census Information
  • 2020 Census Workers to Count Population Experiencing Homelessness in September Information
  • Response Rate Map: 61.6% of households across the nation have responded – that’s 91,100,000 households so far! Information
  • COVID-19: In light of the COVID-19 outbreak, the U.S. Census Bureau has adjusted 2020 Census operations. Information


Human Trafficking Infographic

The DHS Blue Campaign adapted its original “What Is Human Trafficking?” infographic into a print-friendly 8.5×11 design. This updated design is available for download in English and Spanish and provides an overview of the crime, types of trafficking, and what you can do to learn more and report. The infographic can be posted in offices and community spaces or shared online via social media or newsletters. In addition to the printable resources, Blue Campaign infographic videos in English and Spanish can be downloaded and viewed.


FEMA Releases Guidance on Mass Care During a Pandemic

FEMA released the “Mass Care/Emergency Assistance Pandemic Planning Considerations Guide” to assist state, local, tribal and territorial governments in planning to deliver sheltering services in a pandemic environment.



Hazard Mitigation Stories from FEMA Region 9: Level Up Audio Project!

FEMA Region IX Level Up Audio Project! Tune in to hear how: An immigrants’ rights organization in California made sure all members of the community were able to rebuild following the Thomas Fire; The City of Santa Cruz integrated climate adaptation and hazard mitigation planning processes to ensure more coordinated implementation; The City of Tehama stacked various funding sources to elevate homes and protect the community from floods; and More! The Level Up Audio Project features five 10- to 15-minute conversations with individuals who are making hazard mitigation planning and action a priority. If you have any suggestions for topics please email


FEMA Releases BEOC Guidance

FEMA released Business Emergency Operations Center (BEOC) Quick Start Guidance.


Racial Equity & Social Justice

list includes information that will help communities and activists as they work to understand and respond to the moment and for the long haul.



FEMA Releases Planning Considerations: Disaster Housing

FEMA released “Planning Considerations: Disaster Housing”. Housing recovery is the cornerstone of a community’s recovery and ultimate resilience. By helping survivors achieve sustainable housing after a disaster, state and local leaders move their communities toward stability and resiliency for future incidents.



Recorded Webinars and Self-Paced Trainings: 

  • * HUD: The Rural Gateway provides technical assistance, trainings, and peer learning and resource sharing to support rural housing and economic development.
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA):
  • Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD): here
  • * International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM): here
  • * International Economic Development Council (IEDC): here
  • * Natural Hazards Center: here
  • * Rural Design Webinar Series: here


Value of Volunteer Time 

The Current Estimated National Value of Each Volunteer Hour Is $27.20. Volunteers in the United States are 63 million strong and hold up the foundation of civil society. They help their neighbors, serve their communities, and provide their expertise. No matter what kind of volunteer work they do, they are contributing in invaluable ways.



State and Local Mitigation Plan Guides Updates

FEMA is updating the state and local hazard mitigation plan review guides and requests your feedback on the current guides. These plan review guides are FEMA’s official interpretation of the requirements for state and local hazard mitigation plans. FEMA created an online presentation available on YouTube to provide a high-level overview of hazard mitigation planning guidance and share information on submitting feedback to the existing policies. The “State Mitigation Plan Review Guide” (March 2015) and “Local Mitigation Plan Review Guide” (October 2011) are available on the FEMA website. FEMA will accept ideas and feedback on either current document by sending an email to through Aug. 14. Additional information on hazard mitigation planning is available on FEMA website.


FEMA Podcast Episode 70: The 30th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act

July 26 marked the 30th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This sweeping civil rights legislation expanded on the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 that prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities by federally funded entities. To mark the 30th anniversary of the legislation, the FEMA podcast features a discussion with the director of FEMA’s Office of Disability Integration, Linda Mastandrea. The discussion focuses on how emergency management has worked to serve people with disabilities over the past 30 years and how the agency is looking ahead in the coronavirus pandemic environment to ensure we’re best serving all disaster survivors. To learn more about the ADA, including the full text of the law, visit Visit the FEMA blog to read about 30 ways FEMA supports emergency preparedness, response and recovery for people with disabilities or to read a message from the director of the Office of Disability Integration and Coordination, Linda Mastandrea.

CDC has launched a new website, Natural Disasters, Severe Weather, and COVID-19, that includes information on preparedness and recovery during the COVID-19 response and what the general public can do to keep themselves safe.


Cities for a Resilient Recovery: International Lessons on recovery from COVID-19

Each week the University of Manchester brings together relevant international practices and examples recovery from COVID-19. In this week’s briefing we highlight the role communities are playing in communicating urgent public health messages to vulnerable people within their own networks; how wastewater surveillance is being used to identify new outbreaks of COVID19; and the value of spare capacity (redundancy) across organizations and systems as businesses and government seek to maintain operations through current and future waves of the pandemic and into recovery. 



Community Prosperity Resource Matrix

The Centers of Community Prosperity offers a resource to provide easy access to information about USDA programs, tools, and data sources that foster hope and opportunity, asset building and wealth creation in rural and underserved communities.


Pathway to Recovery

The U.S. Department of Labor, through WorkforceGPS, offers workforce tools and tips for communities, business, individuals and stakeholders to support job creation, job stabilization, infrastructure and workforce support.

Quick Start Action Planner


The Wind Energy Workforce in the United States: Training, Hiring, and Future Needs

National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s technical report outlining evidence that there are dynamics beyond supply and demand at play, there is a Workforce Gap.

Collegiate Wind Competition


Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI) – Tools and Resources

U.S. Department of Treasury online resource offering tools and links and a list of current certified CDFIs, many of which make loans to small businesses and provide technical assistance


COVID-19 Housing Resource Center  here

National Housing Conference (NHC) has compiled COVID-19 resources from every facet of the housing industry so you are never more than one click away from the information you need.


Pathway to Recovery

The U.S. Department of Labor, through WorkforceGPS, offers workforce tools and tips for communities, business, individuals and stakeholders to support job creation, job stabilization, infrastructure and workforce support. Quick Start Action Planner.


Millions of Americans could soon be without Power

In May, the National Energy and Utility Affordability Coalition put out a White Paper on Energy Affordability and COVID-19. According to National Public Radio, millions of Americans could soon face utility shut-offs. For more information on this topic, the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) and other industry groups have created a tool for tracking state utility commission responses to COVID-19, which is updated regularly –


A Most Dangerous Intersection: Revisiting Race and Class in 2020

In the 1960s and 1970s, racial wealth and wage gaps were declining, then grew again. We need to understand why if we wish to reverse this pattern. Article


FEMA Offers Training for Organizations Preparing for Emergency Needs

Are you interested in helping organizations in your community? FEMA’s Individual and Community Preparedness Division is launching a new Organizations Preparing for Emergency Needs (OPEN) preparedness training for Community-Based Organizations (CBO). CBOs include private sector and non-profit organizations such as food banks, childcare centers, shelters and houses of worship that make communities stronger. When CBOs can’t continue operating after a disaster or emergency, those who rely on them are left vulnerable. Because of their importance in keeping communities going, FEMA is committed to training 22,000 CBOs by the year 2022.  The training is designed to empower CBOs to build a culture of preparedness and provides an overview of 10 actions to take to develop a disaster response plan before a disruption happens. In addition, the training provides both a self-guided online course for individuals and a downloadable instructor-led course available for groups. Individuals should complete the web-based training before delivering the instructor-led training to their CBO or completing it with their community members. To take the training or download the instructor’s kit visit, For more information about the training or partnership opportunities, send an email to


FEMA Releases COVID-19 Resource Tools

FEMA supports state, local, tribal and territorial recovery outcomes by coordinating across the federal government to resolve operation and policy challenges. For the COVID-19 pandemic recovery, FEMA has been developing resources that partners can use to explore and navigate supplemental appropriations that have been made available. Specifically, FEMA has created two tools – the COVID-19 Resource Summary Report and COVID-19 Resource Roadmaps. These tools were created by FEMA’s Recovery Support Function Leadership Group, under the National Disaster Recovery Framework. Visit the FEMA website for more information on these resources.

The “COVID-19 Resource Summary Report” compiles available resources provided by federal departments and agencies. The report captures federal funding sources that can be applied to specific areas for COVID-19 recovery (e.g., education) and helps partners understand where there is potential duplication of benefits within areas of interest, including potential overlap with FEMA Public Assistance.

The second tool, “COVID-19 Resource Roadmaps,” provides a deep-dive into specific topic areas and challenges associated with COVID-19 recovery. Roadmaps offers potential solutions and federal resources that could support recovery activities. To date, FEMA has published two roadmaps: “COVID-19 Education Resource Roadmap,” and “COVID-19 Food and Nutrition.” FEMA will provide additional roadmaps for Healthcare, Housing and Economic Development by the end of September. Roadmaps use information that is either publicly available or publicly obtained and should be used for informational purposes only.


FEMA Releases IPAWS Planning Toolkit

FEMA released the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) Program Planning Toolkit. This toolkit will assist state, local, tribal and territorial alerting authorities to create and support an effective alerts, warnings and notifications program. FEMA has been working with the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate to identify gaps in existing IPAWS alerting messaging. The IPAWS Program Planning Toolkit is result of that partnership. It consists of three documents: the IPAWS Lab Fact Sheet, IPAWS Frequently Asked Questions and the IPAWS Train the Trainer Guide. The documents in the toolkit were produced based on recent innovative changes to technology and were derived from the collection of successful practices and lessons learned from hundreds of data points, including more than 100 emergency managers, public information officers, alerting originators and administrators, and alerting experts. The toolkit will assist public safety agencies in minimizing alerting delays; planning for future alerts, warnings and notifications enhancements; facilitating interoperability across different technologies; and improving information sharing among emergency management and public safety officials. For more information on IPAWS, visit the FEMA website.



FEMA Podcast Episode 75: National Preparedness Month – Flood Insurance

In this episode of the FEMA Podcast, Paul Huang from the National Flood Insurance Program discusses how purchasing flood insurance is one easy way homeowners and renters can prepare for future disasters.


Resilience Hubs: Baltimore, Maryland and Washington, DC

The Urban Sustainability Directors Network (USDN) is a network of local government professionals across the United States and Canada. They are dedicated to creating a healthier environment, economic prosperity, and increased social equity, to share best practices, and to accelerate the application of good ideas. Resilience Hubs, one of USDN’s main initiatives, work at a nexus of mitigation, adaptation, and equity. They are designed to enhance and improve community resilience through a bottom-up approach centered on community co-development and leadership. Resilience Hubs are community-serving facilities augmented to support residents and coordinate resource distribution and services before, during, or after a natural hazard event. Baltimore, Maryland and Washington, DC are two cities that use Resilience Hubs to make their communities safe and more resilient. In Baltimore, the City’s Office of Sustainability has worked closely with the USDN on this initiative. The Office of Sustainability has made it a priority to have open lines of communication between the leaders of all Resilience Hubs, to ensure they are getting adequate support. In the Fall 2019 issue of the Resilience Report, the Spotlight article featured Melissa Deas, who has been working to advance Resilience Hubs in Washington, DC. Her work with Resilience Hubs has been an important part of the Climate Ready DC plan and has advanced the Resilience Hubs initiative in Washington, DC and across the nation. Read more about Resilience Hubs in the USDN Resilience Hubs White Paper.


FEMA Guide to Virtual Hazard Mitigation Planning Meetings

FEMA’s new Virtual Hazard Mitigation Planning Guide was created to help communities currently going through the Hazard Mitigation Plan (HMP) update process. Some communities may be navigating remote work and virtual meetings for the first time, so this guide has tips and tools for each step of the planning process that are scalable depending on capabilities. The guide also includes options for virtual meeting platforms. Click here to download the guide!


NEHRP Recommended Seismic Provisions for New Buildings and Other Structures (2020 Edition)

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is pleased to announce the release of FEMA P-2082, 2020 National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP) Recommended Seismic Provisions for New Buildings and Other Structures. The release of the 2020 NEHRP Provisions marks the tenth edition of this widely recognized and reputable technical resource document since its first edition in 1985.


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