3B.5 Engaging Emergency Managers and Planners on Resiliency Efforts in the Southern Plains

Monday, 8 January 2018: 3:15 PM
Room 6B (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
Leah Kos, Univ. of Oklahoma, Norman, OK; and R. E. Riley

The ability to reduce impacts associated with an extreme weather event can, to some extent, be correlated to the level of preparedness, both post- and pre-disaster. Traditional practices of managing preparedness to natural disasters are often credited to the short-term expertise of emergency management. However, preparedness on a long-term scale is also a core focus exhibited in the field of planning. As extreme weather and climate events are becoming more unpredictable, these two fields face challenges in managing their resilience to these events. While in the past these two fields most commonly acted independently, it is now being recognized that emergency managers and planners exhibit strengths that can aid in each other's efforts to increase community resilience to weather and climate extremes. These findings mirror the work being conducted by the Southern Climate Impacts Planning Program (SCIPP), a Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments (RISA) team based in the South Central United States.

This presentation will highlight the initiative SCIPP has been leading over the past two years engaging emergency managers and planners in Oklahoma and Arkansas to assess current efforts within their fields and the potential to build adaptive capacity at the local level. Insight will be shared on the motivation behind the work as well as the status of current efforts to build collaboration between emergency managers and planners in the region within a multi-hazard context. Engaging with decision makers in these fields has revealed that what is known at a national scale is not necessarily understood or being implemented at the local level in much of the region. This presentation will describe some reasons for this finding including regional nuances and the barriers and disconnects found on spatial and temporal scales. Further, lessons learned on creating an engaged stakeholder network, preliminary recommendations for addressing data needs among both fields, and the role in which the meteorological and climatological profession can play in building capacity to address weather and climate extremes at local levels will be shared.

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