Regional Recovery Summit: Supporting Disaster Relief Efforts

Centralina Regional Council and the Centralina Economic Development District (EDD) recently hosted the Regional Recovery Summit. The Summit was the first of three fall virtual workshops that will be held by the Regional Resilience Collaborative. Started by Centralina Regional Council and the Centralina EDD, the Collaborative will assess the viability and resiliency of emergency management plans and coordinate resources so the region can pursue greater efficiency in responding to current and future natural and man-made disasters.

“It’s vital to know how we recover from these disruptions in a way that moves our communities forward and leverages the strengths of government and non-government partners,” said Geraldine Gardner, Executive Director of Centralina Regional Council. “Our Regional Resilience Collaborative is designed to grow regional recovery relationships and build upon information, education, collaboration and community partner support in our pursuit of developing a resilient, whole community framework for disaster recovery.”

The Regional Recovery Summit featured discussions with representatives from state and local government and nonprofit organizations. Disaster recovery experts shared their experiences, addressing the many challenges of rebuilding sustainable and equitable communities following large-scale disasters. 

The workshop was centered around four recovery themes:

  1. Whole Community Collaboration – using trusted resources, knowing who to contact and working with community organizations. 
  2. Infrastructure Recovery – mapping out recovery and who to engage. 
  3. Disaster Housing and Land Use/ Development – best practices and experiences from other areas of North Carolina that have experienced recent catastrophic disasters.  
  4. Economic and Small Business Recovery – how local government can support resilient economies and bounce forward. 

Featured presenters included: Laura Hogshead, Chief Operating Officer of the North Carolina Office of Recovery and Resiliency; Dr. Dawn Baldwin-Gibson, Executive Pastor of Peletah Ministries and Executive Director of the Peletah Institute for Building Resilient Communities; Joe Stanton, Assistant Director for North Carolina Department of Public Safety’s Division of Emergency Management; Jane Cage, Principal, Insightfive22; and Dr. Amanda Martin, Chief Resilience Officer for the State of North Carolina.

Some of the themes that emerged from the Summit included: The importance of planning and building relationships in advance; equity is directly linked to recovery; to succeed, recovery must include community partners, the public and businesses in addition to local government and federal partners; communication is key; and look to other communities for examples of success stories.

Added Hillary Sherman, NC Economic Development Representative U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA), “Building resilience is about building equity. And building resilience takes everyone – the public, local governments, workforce development and economic development.”

Centralina plans to hold two additional virtual recovery workshops this fall. The next one will take place on October 12th and will focus on local recovery. The November 16th workshop will focus on the use of an equity-based GIS analysis tool to support whole community collaboration.

About the Regional Resilience Collaborative

The Regional Resilience Collaborative is a partnership between Centralina Regional Council and the Centralina Economic Development District, which received a U.S. Economic Development Administration Disaster Relief Coordinator Grant to assist jurisdictions and municipalities with building adequate capacity and enhancing resiliency. Through the Collaborative, the Centralina team will work directly with County Emergency Management Managers across the nine-county region to build upon existing County and City-level emergency plans through a series of disaster recovery plan evaluations, assessments, focus groups and workshops.