Rural Communities Rise to the Challenge of Dual Disasters


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Rural communities face unique challenges in preparing for flooding and addressing related infrastructure needs. Local governments with small staffs often do not have the capacity to apply for disaster preparedness funding and can be left out of valuable federal programs. This briefing will characterize these issues in the context of COVID-19 and highlight solutions communities are implementing to meet them. Dr. Richard Norton, Professor of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Michigan (UM), will discuss his work with Great Lakes coastal communities, which are mostly small and rural communities, and he will use the example of the recent Midland dam floods to highlight governance challenges in repairing critical infrastructure. Steve Samuelson, CFM, National Flood Insurance Program Coordinator for the State of Kansas Department of Agriculture, will discuss the issues small towns face when attempting to access federal mapping and flood protection programs, and the programs that are working to build flood resilience in these rural areas.

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