Statewide Post-Disaster Redevelopment Plan Planning Initiative

The record-setting hurricane seasons of 2004 and 2005 underscored the need for Florida communities to be prepared to face the tremendous, wide-ranging challenge of rebuilding after a disaster. The post-disaster redevelopment planning process helps a community plan for the long-term disaster recovery period to ensure that they are able to recover faster and more efficiently, maintain local control over recovery and take advantage of opportunities to build back better. The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), Division of Community Development, in partnership with the Florida Division of Emergency Management, initiated the Statewide Post-Disaster Redevelopment Plan Planning Initiative to create guidance for development of such plans.

Project Overview

This project is funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration through the Florida Coastal Management Program, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, and by the Federal Emergency Management Agency through a Hazard Mitigation Grant administered by the Florida Division of Emergency Management.

DEO began the initiative in 2007 to help coastal and inland local governments prepare post-disaster redevelopment plans. A focus group consisting of representatives of federal, state, and local government, state universities, and Florida planning organizations provided guidance to DEO.

The initiative has been conducted in five phases:

  • Phase I - the focus group developed draft guidelines for post-disaster redevelopment planning based on information obtained through a review of relevant literature and a survey of Florida local governments.
  • Phase II - the focus group tested the effectiveness of the guidelines by working with pilot communities (Panama City, Hillsborough County, Nassau County, Polk County and Manatee County - see Post-Disaster Redevelopment Plan Links Toolkit) to design their Post-Disaster Redevelopment Plans with input from local working groups. Through a self-funded local project, Sarasota County also participated in the Post-Disaster Redevelopment Plan initiative.
  • Phase III - the focus group analyzed the applicability of the guidelines to the pilots and incorporated the findings into Post-Disaster Redevelopment Planning: A Guide for Florida Communities.
  • Phase IV - the focus was on providing guidance on how to implement, maintain and update the post-disaster redevelopment plans that were adopted.
  • Phase V - involves incorporating sea level rise data and concerns into the post-disaster redevelopment planning framework and planning processes. During this phase, the Department worked with Palm Beach County to incorporate sea level rise into its post-disaster redevelopment plan, which culminated in the development of an Addendum to the guidebook titled, Post-Disaster Redevelopment Planning: Addressing Adaptation During Long-term Recovery.


  • Sean Reiss

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