The public is invited to a community conversation on resiliency hosted by Linn County and the City of Cedar Rapids on September 1 at 6 p.m. at CSPS Hall (1103 3rd Street SE, Cedar Rapids).
This event will include a panel discussion on community resiliency and how local leaders are working to improve local disaster recovery capabilities just as this community and other parts of Iowa marked the two-year anniversary of the August 10, 2020 derecho. September is also National Preparedness Month and lends itself to discuss both disaster preparedness and resiliency.
The event will include a panel discussion and a moderated Q&A with the audience.
Community Conversation Details
When: Thursday, September 1, 2022 at 6 p.m.
Where: CSPS Hall, 1103 3rd Street SE, Cedar Rapids
- Tam Marcus, Linn County Sustainability Director
- Greg Smith, Cedar Rapids Fire Chief
- Ashley Balius, Linn County Community Outreach & Assistance Director
- J’Nae Peterman, Director of Housing Services at Waypoint
- Nafi Lamidi, Data and Impact Analyst with RefugeeRISE AmeriCorps
Community Resilience Project: Improving Disaster Recover Capabilities Final Report
On August 3, 2022, Linn County and the City of Cedar Rapids released the final report for the Community Resilience Project: Improving Disaster Recover Capabilities facilitated and authored by Collective Clarity. The Community Resilience Project was conceived by Linn County and Cedar Rapids leaders in an effort to capture critical learning from the August 10, 2020 derecho and grow the capabilities of Linn County communities and organizations to collaborate effectively during the recovery phase of a disaster. This project was a countywide effort that included collaboration with surrounding jurisdictions and service providers, stakeholder interviews, a literature review, facilitated assessments, focused work groups, and a final review of observations and recommendations between December 2020 and October 2021.
The report notes that one of the most significant barriers to effective pre-planning and recovery strategies is the limited bandwidth of staff across jurisdictions and institutions and the need to address the tensions and limitations inherent in multiple accountabilities.
“The 2020 Derecho was a complex, multi-jurisdictional event, exacerbated by the COVID 19 pandemic, that highlighted the need for new capabilities and more robust communication and information sharing. Strong networked partnerships extending beyond response into recovery were also identified as a need. Events tested and stretched capabilities not previously required at this scope and intensity,” the report states.
Resiliency Report Recommendations
The resiliency report includes the following recommendations:
- Create a non-partisan position for planning and coordination to help all entities overcome limited bandwidth in disaster recovery
- Leverage shared resources and opportunities through pre-disaster recovery planning
- Better utilize existing assets by integrating plans, data, toolkits, business community, and subject matter experts
- Lessen the impacts of disaster on the recovery agencies by having a shared recovery “roadmap” with agreed upon roles and tasks
- Create a planning practice that defines roles, responsibilities, and processes prior to disaster events, including joint planning and training
- Build and strengthen connections/partnerships
- Enhance communication and information sharing
The full report is available on both the Linn County and City of Cedar Rapids websites.