Step 5: Identify target areas

Areas with a good number of category B and C buildings should be considered for an area-specific mitigation or redevelopment plan. The possibility of not rebuilding the area needs to be seriously considered, along with the costs and benefits to public health, safety, and natural floodplain functions of clearing the area versus allowing it to be rebuilt. Preparing such a plan will likely take several weeks. Meanwhile residents and businesses in those areas should be advised that they can clean up their buildings and salvage what they can, but they should not put money into reconstruction until the mitigation plan is finished and decisions are made.

Comment
There are no hard and fast rules on what is a target area that should be evaluated for redevelopment before repairs are allowed. Things to consider are:

  • Level of damage from this disaster
  • Potential for future damage from the same or another hazard, considering climate change
  • Potential to reuse the area in an open space use (e.g., adjacent to existing parks, desire for a waterfront greenway)
  • Economic development opportunities (e.g., conversion of buildings to parking lots to serve nearby shopping or businesses)
    Each target area should be evaluated for redevelopment options. An abbreviated version of the standard mitigation planning process is recommended.

Resources

References on the standard mitigation planning process include:

  • Example Plans
  • FEMA’s “How To” planning guidance, found at [need a link. The problem is the URL is the same for all FEMA references. Go to http://www.fema.gov/library/ and search for publication number 386. There’s a series on that page.]
Conway prepared an Interim Mitigation Plan for the target area in two weeks. The City followed an abbreviated planning process that is explained on page 2 of the Interim Plan.
The Interim Plan guided immediate redevelop-ment of the affected area. A complete Flood Hazard Mitigation Plan for the entire city was completed four months later.