Resilience Decision Support

Services tailored to your needs.

We hold two truths to be self-evident:

  1. Our communities are more challenged than ever by weather and climate threats, and
  2. Our communities do not have unlimited budgets to adapt to these threats.

In order to maximize the effectiveness of budgets for adaptation, we believe that resilience planning should meet three criteria:

  1. Vulnerability should be quantified. We believe that understanding how people and assets are vulnerable to specific threats is vital to understanding what actions will help a community become more resilient.
  2. Assessments should be localized. Furthermore, we believe that understanding where people and assets are most vulnerable is vital to the effective application of solutions.
  3. Actions should be targeted, implementable, and equitable. We believe that adaptation actions need to be considered within the unique context of a city or county and that solutions that address sensitive populations should be considered alongside solutions that address infrastructure.

With these principles as our guide, we deliver a comprehensive process that identifies and quantifies your community’s specific risks and helps you prioritize and communicate your actions to adapt. In addition to a tailored and localized set of analysis deliverables, our facilitated process and supporting tools build capacity and align ongoing resilience efforts with your community’s unique circumstances and needs.

Our team co-developed the federal standard “Steps to Resilience” framework with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to help communities understand risk and build resilience to climate and weather threats. The steps below outline how we apply this process to local government resilience planning projects. We recognize that one size does not fit all and that many local governments often have already made considerable headway in one or more of the steps outlined below.

Wherever your community is in the adaptation process, we can help you confidently take action for resilience.

Step 1: Identify Key Assets and Threats

How do you get started? We help you identify your community’s natural and socioeconomic stressors, framed by past impacts, current trends, and evolving conditions. Our expert team meshes your local experience and data with our large catalog of climate threat and socioeconomic data to build an inventory of your community’s key Asset-Threat Pairs.

In a facilitated data-driven workshop and accompanying report, you gain an understanding of regional stressors that drive vulnerability at a local scale, including critical thresholds for factors such as extreme precipitation, flooding, and extreme heat, as well as social vulnerability and equity factors.

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Custom tools developed by the NEMAC-FernLeaf Collaborative. These tools give us a unique ability to provide insight about key assets and threats.

Step 2: Quantify Vulnerability and Risk

How do you quantify risk? We deliver a quantitative analysis comparing your vulnerability and risk across threats like flooding, landslides, and wildfire for assets like businesses, critical infrastructure, and residential property. We perform a sector-by-sector, asset-by-asset assessment at an individual property level across your entire community. This analysis is driven by your local property data, ordinances, and building codes, and includes social vulnerability metrics for a comprehensive analysis tailored to your needs.

Leveraging the power of the AccelAdapt engine, we tailor these analyses into an easily understandable report of comparable Asset-Threat Pair profiles. These profiles are local assessments presented at a neighborhood scale for easy spatial comparison of risk by sectors and threats, as well as social factors that provide an additional lens to vulnerability. Not only do you gain insights on the threats pose the highest risk for your community, you also understand where in your community people and assets are most vulnerable. This report can be integrated into your community’s existing hazard mitigation, comprehensive, and other plans.

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Report excerpts from the Asheville Climate Resilience Plan displaying quantitative vulnerability and risk scoping assessments.

Steps 3 & 4: Identify & Prioritize Resilience Options

How do you put this knowledge into action? We help you identify and sort through the hundreds of potential adaptation options to move from analysis to action. Incorporating your data for different project options, we cooperatively work with you through a facilitated decision support process that helps prioritize the best resilience investments, including determining potential risk reduction, cost effectiveness, and equitability. We also incorporate cutting-edge interactive visualizations to help you evaluate different options and communicate priorities to stakeholders and constituents.

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Prioritized resilience option visuals. The first is from a regional project in the NC triangle of a handful of options assessed on criteria important to the group. These go beyond resilience effectiveness and financial feasibility to consider co-benefits and social equity factors (specific options have been partially obscured until the report is released publicly). The second visual is from our work in Ft. Lauderdale assessing the viability of solutions into the future.

Step 5: Take Action & Continually Assess

How do you continually assess? With our AccelAdapt solution, your resilience assessment never goes out of date. Built on the ArcGIS Platform, AccelAdapt continually incorporates your local parcel, building, and asset data to give you a continually updating understanding of your vulnerabilities and risks.

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Screenshots from AccelAdapt, our interactive and continually updating vulnerability and risk assessment software.