In 2020, local leaders across the United States will likely face an unprecedented threat that requires significant collective action: a flood that hits during the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic fallout. This “dual disaster” will likely be widespread: 128 million Americans are at risk of flooding this spring, and the country is likely to see more hurricanes than normal this season.
This handbook for local leaders provides six recommendations for preparing for a flood during COVID-19. While the specific dual disaster response will look slightly different for each community, proactively planning an equitable response is essential everywhere and is especially important as communities face multiple threats.
The recommendations provided in this handbook are:
- Examine existing emergency plans (p. 5);
- Anticipate the risks of a dual disaster - with a focus on vulnerable populations - and identify potential response (p. 8);
- Activate necessary legal authorities: emergency declarations, evacuations, and price controls (p. 12);
- Secure additional volunteers, medical supplies, food, and shelters (p. 15);
- Develop an emergency communications plan and coordinate responses with regional neighbours (p. 19);
- Set up a system to accurately and thoroughly document disaster expenses (p. 21).