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Updating FEMA approved Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan for a more Resilient Community Towards Climate Change Hazards

Barren River Area Development District, Kentucky

Featured image for the project, Updating FEMA approved Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan for a more Resilient Community Towards Climate Change Hazards

Image courtesy of the Barren River Area Development District

Description

The Barren River Area Development District known as BRADD, is a Development District that serves the south central region of Kentucky. Their mission is to preserve and advance the quality of life and economic well-being for the citizens of BRADD through regional collaboration.

BRADD’s Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan is updated every five years. This will be the fourth full-update for the region. As such, the community has been previously engaged in the process. BRADD has also worked with key stakeholders across a variety of sectors in updating previous plans. In addition to our regular meetings of our board of directors (composed of each mayor & judge/executive in our region and a citizen member from each of our 10-counties) BRADD actively works with various special interest committees including area emergency managers, regional transportation planners, and water/wastewater utility providers. That being said, BRADD has no previous experience working with scientists or consultants regarding this specific plan. The Thriving Earth Exchange Partnership will allow BRADD to incorporate more specific scientific data into the plan and process, particularly as the planning team examines the impacts of climate change on the many hazards affecting the region.

 

The Project

This project will enhance work being completed through BRADD’s update of the required regional, FEMA approved, Multi-Hazard Mitigation Planning process. In this process, BRADD staff will work alongside local communities to identify resiliency and mitigation projects to be included in the region’s Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan. Further,  BRADD staff will provide key technical assistance and support to communities and disaster-related entities who otherwise lack the capacity to complete these projects on their own. A Thriving Earth Exchange community science project would bring scientific expertise to the table at an early stage, to increase the planning team and public’s knowledge of hazards, particularly as they are impacted by climate change.

 

Project Scope Statement

Thriving Earth Exchange will provide scientific input and communications to support the project. (See below for specific requests and inputs).

 

Timeline

Work will begin as soon as possible to start collecting climate and hazard data with the goal of completing all hazard reports by June 2021. Community outreach and interactions hope to begin in February 2021.

Project Team

Community Leads 

Dajana Crockett – BRADD’s Disaster Resiliency Coordinator

Serving as BRADD’s Disaster Resiliency Coordinator, Dajana will be the primary point of contact for the scientific partner to the project. Alongside her other duties, Dajana is tasked with updating the content of the Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan, including all aspects not assigned to the scientific partner. Dajana will also work closely with other BRADD staff members to facilitate outreach with local communities and collect local-level information for plan inclusion. Dajana also serves as the point of contact with the Kentucky Department of Emergency Management and FEMA, ensuring the completed plan meets all standards and is ultimately approved by FEMA. Dajana is also tasked with several aspects of public relations regarding the project, including maintaining regular contact with local government officials and administrative agencies, conducting periodic public meetings, and attending and presenting information to county fiscal courts and city councils. In this sense, Dajana will serve as the liaison between the public and local government, the public and the scientific partner, and the local government and federal/state agencies.

 

Emily Hathcock – BRADD’s Associate Director of Planning & Development

Serving as BRADD’s Associate Director of Planning & Development, Emily will oversee the update of the Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan, providing support to Dajana throughout the process. Emily is also tasked with ensuring the finalized plan fits the branding and style of the agency, can be incorporated into other regional planning efforts, and is presented in a dynamic and interactive manner. Emily is also tasked with assigning other department members to the project as needed. Finally, alongside Dajana, Emily serves as a liaison between local government and the project and provides several aspects of public relations including developing project social media content, maintaining regular contact with local government officials and administrative agencies, conducting periodic public meetings, and attending and presenting information to county and community groups.

 

Kim Morrow – BRADD’s GIS Manager

Kim is responsible for translating the Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan and information into print maps, digital interactive maps, story maps, and other GIS products.

 

Community Science Fellow

Aradhana Roberts is a PhD Candidate at Lund University, Sweden at the Department of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science. Being raised and brought up in the foothills of the Himalayas in India, her passion for integrating environmental science research and human development was instilled. Further leading her to complete her undergraduate and graduate degrees in the United States in Environmental Science and Policy. Currently for her PhD research she has set up 25 study sites around the world to understand the effects of forest management. Specifically looking through the lens of insect feeding patterns to detect carbon and soil nutrient cycling in forests with fires, logging and drought globally.  Together this research furthers our understanding of how changes in forest disturbances will impact the carbon budget and improve our modelled representation of forest-climate interactions now and in the future. Aradhana’s ultimate goal is to apply ecological research for the benefit of our communities and natural resources sustainably.

Scientist Wanted

Task 1: Textual and Graphical Summaries of Climate Change Impact on Hazards

The community asks that a scientist will develop a 1-2 page summary of the impacts of climate change for each of the following hazards:

  • Drought
  • Earthquake
  • Extreme Temperatures
  • Flood
  • Landslides
  • Severe Storm
  • Tornado
  • Sinkhole and Karst
  • Winter Storm

These 9-18 pages should include any relevant graphs/charts for supporting the narrative information to be included in the plan. The Thriving Earth Exchange Scientist should also work with BRADD’s GIS Manager to provide the raw data format (dbf) of supporting information for inclusion in our GIS components of the final plan and interactive story mapping presentations.

 

Task 2: Communication Talking Points for presenting Climate Change Impacts to the Public and Planning Team

Thriving Earth Exchange Scientist will work with BRADD staff to develop talking points and educational material to explain climate change impacts on the above mentioned hazards to the planning team and community members. This could include flyers, brochures, slide presentations, social-media shareables, sample classroom presentations, or other educational materials as requested by BRADD and the planning team.

 

Desired Skills and Expertise 

  • Background in climate hazards such as sinkholes and flooding, particularly in areas with karst topography.
  • Experience with scientific sampling and study design strongly preferred
  • Ability to translate difficult science terminology for a lay audience
  • Adept problem-solver and able to effectively convey results in written form
  • Willingness to connect science to local concerns
  • Appreciation for the interplay between equity, resilience and climate adaptation
  • Relaxed, easy going personality with a good sense of humor
  • Strong listening and communication skills
  • Competent and open to new ideas
  • The scientist is preferred to be local if possible but someone with the passion and expertise to address climate hazards is more important.