fill a distinct need in dealing with disasters and one that will greatly improve resilience at all levels.

Sources: Richard Muth, Executive Director, MEMA, personal communication, March 26, 2012; Angela Bernstein, Director Office of Resilience, personal communication, April 3, 2012.

The role of the federal and state agencies is to assist local communities in these efforts. For example, FEMA uses tools such as its Long-Term Community Recovery Planning Process: A Self-Help Guide (FEMA, 2005) to help local communities plan their long-term recovery after a disaster, and NOAA assists coastal communities in becoming more aware of and more resilient to tsunamis.17 Another approach, the Silver Jackets Program, was initiated by several federal agencies to reduce risk and increase resilience in a collaborative way with state and local agencies (Box 6.6). Many other federal programs provide similar guidance and assistance to local communities (see Table 6.1).

BOX 6.6
The Silver Jackets Program: Many Agencies—One Solution

The Silver Jacketsa program is an innovative state-agency-centered effort initiated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to bring together multiple state, federal, and local agencies (and where appropriate, tribes) to “learn from one another and apply their knowledge to reduce risk.” It links the federal family of agencies with state and local counterparts as well as nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to deal with challenging pre- and post-disaster issues. Programs are initiated at the state level and currently 29 states have such programs under way.

Its goals are to:

•   Develop ways to “collaboratively address risk management issues, prioritize those issues, and implement solutions”;

•   Increase and improve risk communication through coordinated interagency efforts;

•   Leverage available information and resources of all agencies such as FEMA’s RiskMAP program and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (USACE) levee inventory and assessment initiative;

•   Better coordinate hazard mitigation assistance by implementing in a collaborative manner those high-priority actions identified by state mitigation plans; and

•   Identify gaps and conflicts among federal and state agency programs and provide recommendations for addressing these issues at both levels.


17National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program,

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