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Addressing Equitable Resilience at the Southeast and Caribbean Disaster Resilience Partnership Annual Meeting

By Kyla Breland, Office of Response and Restoration Disaster Preparedness Program

A mural with the word "Equity" on it.
Image credit: Max Pixel.

The Southeast and Caribbean Disaster Resilience Partnership recently hosted its 2022 annual meeting. This year Kyla Breland, Southeast regional preparedness coordinator for OR&R’s Disaster Preparedness Program, was invited to join the annual meeting planning committee. Each year, the planning committee works together to set agenda topics and invite speakers and panelists to give their perspective on critical topics in disaster resilience and recovery in the Southeast and Caribbean.

For the 2022 meeting, the planning committee set the overarching theme, “Unique Communities, Shared Challenges: Addressing Resilience, Equitably.” The meeting sought to honor the diversity of the region, explore the local perspective on resilience challenges, and give participants an opportunity to provide feedback to the Southeast and Caribbean Chapters on the 5th National Climate Assessment. 

The two-day virtual event hosted eight sessions and gave participants an opportunity to connect during a virtual happy hour. The sessions feature lively presentations and structured time for discussion and interaction while highlighting work around the region. Session topics included the status of resilience in the Southeast and Caribbean, building infrastructure to withstand coastal hazards, the effects of extreme heat, funding resilience for smaller and underrepresented communities, managed retreat and climate migration, and nature-based solutions for community resilience.

A flow chart.

One particular session worth highlighting focused on justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion. The session titled, “Tools, Strategies, and Techniques to Empower Communities for Equitable and Inclusive Resilience Planning,” shared a variety of resources that at-risk communities can use for disaster preparedness and resilience efforts through an equity lens. The goal for the session was to deliberately and intentionally transfer knowledge, create a space for meaningful engagement, and to empower communities to continue their pursuit of equitable resilience. 

The panelists shared a repertoire of resources that at-risk communities could utilize and share across their networks to make real progress. Speakers shared successful tools, strategies, and techniques in various categories such as emergency planning, data analytics, direct access to funding, communications, outreach, and educational tools, and building community resilience. The full meeting agenda can be found on the partnership website and recordings from each session are available on the partnership's YouTube Channel

The Southeast and Caribbean Disaster Resilience Partnership is a diverse and multi-disciplinary association that connects disaster recovery practitioners from public, private, and non-profit organizations. The partnership provides a platform for training, resources, and relationships that strengthens the ability of coastal communities, economies, and the environment to recover from the next coastal storm. Through the partnership, the Disaster Preparedness Program builds relationships with partners, identifies opportunities for collaboration, and supports effective and efficient emergency response and recovery efforts. In addition to supporting the mission of the program, the partnership reinforces NOAA’s commitment to environmental justice.

Participation in the monthly meetings is free of charge and open to all who are interested in resilience and climate adaptation. More information about the Southeast and Caribbean Disaster Resilience Partnership, membership, and monthly meetings can be found on the SCDRP Website

Last updated Friday, March 18, 2022 9:02am PDT