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Community Mapping to implement the Whole Community Concept

In addition to mapping of risk and protective factors, this process makes the whole community more resilient by:

a) Bringing the community together to collectively plan, which increases the sense of ownership and responsibility on the disaster response and recovery activities

b) Addressing issues that have been ignored for a long time

c) Giving voice to the marginalized groups including those with access and functional needs

d) Increasing awareness all the members of the community including elderly and children regarding disaster preparedness, response and recovery

Submitted by anjdayal 2 years ago

Comments (14)

  1. "Mapping" can mean many things. This idea needs to encompass developing a comprehensive, shared GIS database of communities and making that available using a variety of interactive applications, as well as traditional maps (static and dynamic, electronic and hardcopy). This comprehensive approach helps engage a wide audience in maintaining the essence of a Common Operating Picture of our communities, in the public domain. This can serve a variety of purposes, including as a valuable resource for disaster response.

    This comprehesive approach needs to be promoted by FEMA and funded to the extent that is reasonable. There is still too much siloed information. Plus, the best information is at the local level, but it is not always available in one place, in electronic form or in a format that can be easily shared.

    Current national GIS datasets are too incomplete and inaccurate to be of much value at the local level. There needs to be much stronger influence to engage locals in a unified process of feeding data up to the national level. Currently, a variety of data is requested in a variety of forms, by a variety of state and federal entities. This is inefficient and leads to inconsistent data.

    Also, any maps need to include references to the US National Grid. See another idea on that subject, which provides the interoperable framework for this idea:

    http://fema.ideascale.com/a/dtd/U.S.-National-Grid-as-the-Response-Language-of-Location/320144-14692

    2 years ago
  2. anjdayal Idea Submitter

    Community mapping should not be seen as an additional task but as an effective tool to contribute to accomplishing the six Whole Community Strategic Themes:

    • Understand community complexity.

    • Recognize community capabilities and needs.

    • Foster relationships with community leaders.

    • Build and maintain partnerships.

    • Empower local action.

    • Leverage and strengthen social infrastructure, networks, and assets.

    2 years ago
  3. I agree with the original post and especially with Randy's comments. Good Response Randy and lots of good points that I hope are taken by FEMA.

    2 years ago
  4. anjdayal Idea Submitter

    The best part about community mapping is that is not very expensive. Yes, it does need long term committment and buy in from the local and tribal government as well as volunatary agencies but it can be implmented with very little cost. For example:

    a) For venue, community halls or in a good climate a neighbors backyard can be used.

    b) Stationary required is a white/black board, newsprint, markers that can borrowed from the municipality office.

    c)Information can be compiled, shared and updated with all the partners through a free SharePoint website such as DropBox or GoogleDocs.

    The important part is to understand the value of community mapping beyond just information collection method and how it brings the community together and facilitates resilience.

    2 years ago
  5. One major purpose of community mapping is to identify possible terrorist targets within any given community. These targets should be listed by suspected order of terrorist attack priority, as based on current intelligence information. Maps should be updated as needed, and security assignments/ actions undertaken to help protect the most likely terrorist targets.

    2 years ago
  6. I strongly agree with the initial idea. One of the segments of the "Whole community concept" includes the wide participation of community members with inputs and comments. Community is defined here as all those people that live in a "place". The community is the in-group. Thee ccommunity is ddefined by intelelcctual, reative, spiritual and physical well-being.

    The "Whole Community" involves external stakeeholders that impact the well-being of the community. It is defined by geographical boundaries, and government terms identified in GIS terms to the broader society of disaster preventers/responders.

    The inputs from the "whole community" considered by some in "place" to be outsiders (private groups, faith based, and industry aamong other external groups that infringe in the whole community) and can inform ways for them to identify the protective factors and enhance resilience.

    From my optic, and where FEMA and the Red Cross can assist is by:

    1. Identifying a variety of activities that promote creative psyhcosocial and physical well-being.

    2. Creative activities that help the residents address loss, and idetify steps to recovery/reconstruction.

    3. Promote social networks and community building within place and the "Whole Community"

    4. Develop a plan for social and physical reconstruction of the environment (bushes, parks, walking trails, etc).

    5. Promote voluntarism amongst diverse groups.

    2 years ago
  7. anjdayal Idea Submitter

    Dear Colleagues, thanks for all the insights. What makes community mapping so special is that it enables the community people (here we are not talking about the government and the private sector) to look at risk factors as well as the existing protective factors in their own environment. As a result, the disaster response is not guided by the external stakeholders but it is built on the community's strengths and it's protective factors, which ensures a sense of ownership and sustainability of the response and the recovery process.

    2 years ago
  8. Community Mapping (CM) could be a tool to implement the National Disaster Recovery Framework.

    Many similar visions drive both the NDRF and CM.

    The following statements on NDRF were adapted to show how they also apply to Community Mapping (CM):

    Through the (CM) process, the community defines how they will work together following a disaster to best meet the recovery needs of individuals and families, communities and states.

    Like the NDRF, CM is designed for anyone who is involved in disaster recovery to focus on how best to restore, redevelop, and revitalize the health, social, natural and environmental fabric of the community by ensuring coordination and recovery planning at all levels of government and through the entire community before a disaster.

    The National Disaster Recovery Framework and Community Mapping both are based on the principle that all, including the private sector, non-profit organizations and individual citizens, and local, state, tribal, and federal government agencies have a role to play in the recovery process. The process encompasses the whole community while leveraging the resources of the entire community to meet the needs of the entire community.

    Like the National Disaster Recovery Framework, CM will be built upon existing programs, authorities and best practices. Its effective implementation requires leveraging and maximizing the effectiveness of resources available for disaster recovery across all levels of government, the private sector, academic and emergency management communities, voluntary and non-profit organizations, and a wide array of associations and organizations.

    The National Disaster Recovery Framework and CM can only be successful if everyone recognizes that recovery requires a team approach – a team that includes local, state, tribal government, the entire federal family, the faith-based and non-profit communities, the private sector and most importantly the public. And only with the entire team working together can a community successfully recover following a disaster.

    CM and the National Disaster Recovery Framework enable jurisdictions to establish a clear structure for interagency and nongovernmental partners to align resources and work together to support recovery in a holistic, coordinated manner.

    2 years ago
  9. anjdayal Idea Submitter

    Thanks Dan for your comment! It can also be utilized to form linkages between CERTs and Community Recovery Groups. Most importantly, it will serve as a great platform to develop linkages and networking between the local residents and the Federal, State, Local Territorial, and Tribal government partners as well as the private sector and the NGOs.

    2 years ago
  10. This is all supposed to be done already in a Mitigation Plan. I've seen some crazy maps of hazardous areas, critical facilities, special populations and etc...

    2 years ago
  11. I agree wholeheartedly with the Whole Community concept. From what I have seen so far and I haven't read the entire document, it appears to better suit individual needs to disaster management. http://www.fema.gov/library/viewRecord.do?id=4941

    2 years ago
  12. We've implemented the "Map Your Neighborhood" program here in Sturbridge, MA. While "map" is in the name, it's a bit misleading because MYN really focuses on getting to know your neighbors, the vulnerabilities in your neighborhood -- such as latch-key kids, pets, elderly, disabled, etc. -- and resources (first aid skills, tools, generators, etc.) that might be needed in the hours or days before public safety & utilities can respond to your neighborhood. A hand sketched map of a neighborhood is created during the neigborhood meeting to locate thinks like gas shut off and houses with resources and vulnerabilities. The MYN program, started some 20 years ago in WA state, won FEMA's challenge.gov competition in 2011.

    2 years ago
  13. jc

    Hello Wendy, I attended the conference call yesterday. Congratulations on having your topic chosen for discussion. It was very informative. You mentioned using colored paper cards on the windows to signal the status of the inhabitants of the house. You mentioned it was a way for neighbor to communicate with neighbor and for citizens to communicate with responders. What do you think of using colored lights as an option/addition to the colored paper tags? Lights are more easily seen from the street or air especially in the early morning, evening or night. Lights are more substantial than paper and would not fly off as easily if exposed to high winds or rain. Lights are also more easily noticed under adverse conditions. Lights could also convey more than just two conditions. Please share if you think adding the illuminated component to the paper card system would be of benefit to the community. I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

    2 years ago
  14. As a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Disaster Assistance Committee I have been working on a similar initiative with mapping since 2011; would like to connect with others working in this for local level mapping.

    2 years ago

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