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  • Stephen Jordan

A Brief Summary of FEMA’s Recent Private-Public Partnership Guides

The December 12 FEMA Weekly Bulletin added the links to several recent private-public partnership guides and fact sheets, including:

The Restoration and Recovery Guide is a helpful tool for understanding FEMA’s approach to planning and structuring Private-Public Partnerships (P3s). This chart pulled from the report encapsulates this approach:

The “Equitable Outcomes” fact sheet also recommends this approach for ensuring that vulnerable populations and communities are incorporated into risk reduction planning.

The third fact sheet on “Reducing Risks” has a typology of risk factors summarized in this figure:


  1. Communities should elevate stakeholder engagement. With these reports and fact sheets, FEMA is encouraging local communities to adopt more of a systems-based approach - i.e., to think about community risks from a variety of standpoints. No single organization is going to have a bird’s eye view of everything that is going on in a community, nor the competency to deal with everything. This reality means that local communities should consider mechanisms to bring more stakeholders into resilience and recovery planning processes.

  2. Government agencies want to change the way they engage with the private sector. Traditionally, government agencies used to deploy more top-down command and control models to managing disasters. Now, they are developing more “humble” ways of engaging with private and nonprofit partners – even putting them first in how they name P3s.

  3. Emergency managers are increasingly embracing resilience and recovery processes as their first lines of defense against future disasters. Traditionally, in terms of attention and focus, the emergency phase of a disaster typically gets the lion’s share of attention. To this day, media and philanthropy only allocate about 12% of their attention to recovery, and 8% (or less) to resilience. However, emergency managers are increasingly realizing that their job becomes a whole lot easier if risks are managed proactively before a disaster and resilience is embedded in recovery after a disaster. Because it’s in their vested interest, reports like these show that they can be potentially significant allies to community leaders who want to make resilience and sustainability upgrades.


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